1: Am J Manag Care 2002 Sep;8(12 Suppl):S315-22
Niacin-based therapy for dyslipidemia: past evidence and future advances.
Southern California Clinical Experience Program, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy, University of the Pacific, Stockton, USA.
Updated guidelines published recently by the National Cholesterol Education Program place greater emphasis on atherogenic dyslipidemia, characterized by low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; elevated triglycerides; and small, dense, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, as well as the drugs that can alter the condition. Both low HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides are independent risk factors for coronary artery disease. Low-density lipoprotein particles can be divided into subclasses with differing atherogenicity. Phenotype A is characterized by large buoyant LDL particles, and phenotype B by small, dense particles associated with increased atherogenicity. The frequency of phenotype B in patients increases as triglyceride levels increase and HDL cholesterol levels decrease. Fibrates and niacin have been shown to improve atherogenic dyslipidemia in clinical trials. Niacin effectively lowers triglycerides, raises HDL cholesterol, and shifts LDL particles to a less atherogenic phenotype (phenotype A). The various niacin formulations available differ in terms of safety and efficacy. When administered alone or in combination with other lipid-modifying agents, niacin prevents progression and promotes regression of coronary atherogenic lesions and reduces coronary risk. Combination therapy is also an effective option for improving multiple lipoprotein abnormalities. In studies, a once-daily, single-tablet combination of niacin extended-release/lovastatin showed additive LDL cholesterol lowering and was more effective than would be anticipated from doubling the component lovastatin dose. Combination products provide a viable strategy for treating the full spectrum of lipid abnormalities seen in some patients, including those with atherogenic dyslipidemia, and will be increasingly used in the treatment of dyslipidemia. Other combination products are currently undergoing clinical testing.
Publication Types: Review Review, Tutorial
PMID: 12240703 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Am J Manag Care 2002 Sep;8(12 Suppl):S308-14
Understanding niacin formulations.
Division of Pharmacotherapy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.
Niacin is an important therapeutic option for the treatment of dyslipidemias and is the only agent currently available that favorably affects all components of the lipid profile to a significant degree. Niacin has consistently been shown to significantly reduce levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein (a), while having the greatest high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol-raising effects of all available agents. Niacin has also been shown to significantly reduce coronary events and total mortality. Niacin is available in 3 formulations: immediate-release (IR), sustained-release (SR), and a newer formulation, niacin extended-release (ER), all of which differ in their pharmacokinetic, efficacy, and safety profiles. Conventional niacin therapy has notable limitations that include flushing, most often seen with IR formulations, and hepatotoxicity, associated with SR formulations. These side effects are related to the absorption rate and subsequent metabolism of niacin as delivered from the different products. Niacin ER has a delivery system allowing absorption rates intermediate to that of niacin IR and SR. As a result, niacin ER achieves the efficacy of niacin IR with a reduced incidence of flushing and without the hepatic effects seen with niacin SR. The pharmacist should be familiar with the differences among and the advantages and disadvantages of each formulation to educate patients and help them achieve the optimal therapeutic benefit of niacin while minimizing adverse effects.
Publication Types: Review Review, Tutorial
PMID: 12240702 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Nutr Clin Care 2002 May-Jun;5(3):115-23
Diagnosis and management of lipoprotein abnormalities.
Batiste MC, Schaefer EJ.
Lipid and Heart Disease Prevention Clinic, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Lipid Metabolism Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Abnormal lipid and lipoprotein cholesterol values have been defined as a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (C) value of 160 mg/dL (4.1 mmol/L) or greater, a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) C value less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L), triglycerides (TG) 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) or greater, and a lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) of 30 mg/dl or greater. Such values all increase coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines continue to focus on optimizing LDL-C values (established as < 100 mg/dL or 2.6 mmol/L), especially in those with established CHD, diabetes, or a 10-year CHD risk over 20%. Dietary saturated fat (< 7% of calories) and cholesterol (< 200 mg/day) restriction, and the use of 3-hydroxy-3 methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors are the mainstays of treatment in this regard. Such treatment substantially reduces CHD risk. Severe hypertriglyceridemia (> 1000 mg/dL or 11.0 mmol/L) is associated with pancreatitis, and fat restriction, control of glucose, and fibrate therapy are indicated in such patients. Niacin is currently the most effective agent for lowering Lp(a) and raising HDL-C. Current recommendations for treatment by diet and drugs are outlined.
Publication Types: Review Review, Tutorial
PMID: 12134566 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Arch Intern Med 2002 Jul 22;162(14):1568-76
Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of once-daily niacin for the treatment of dyslipidemia associated with type 2 diabetes: results of the assessment of diabetes control and evaluation of the efficacy of niaspan trial.
Grundy SM, Vega GL, McGovern ME, Tulloch BR, Kendall DM, Fitz-Patrick D, Ganda OP, Rosenson RS, Buse JB, Robertson DD, Sheehan JP; Diabetes Multicenter Research Group.
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Room Y3206, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390-9052.
BACKGROUND: Diabetic dyslipidemia is characterized by high triglyceride levels; low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels; small, dense low-density lipoprotein particles; and high free fatty acid levels. Niacin reduces concentrations of triglyceride-rich and small low-density lipoprotein particles while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. It also lowers levels of free fatty acids and lipoprotein(a). However, the use of niacin in patients with diabetes has been discouraged because high doses can worsen glycemic control. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of once-daily extended-release (ER) niacin in patients with diabetic dyslipidemia. METHODS: During a 16-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 148 patients were randomized to placebo (n = 49) or 1000 (n = 45) or 1500 mg/d (n = 52) of ER niacin. Sixty-nine patients (47%) were also receiving concomitant therapy with statins. RESULTS: Dose-dependent increases in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (+19% to +24% [P<.05] vs placebo for both niacin dosages) and reductions in triglyceride levels (-13% to -28% [P<.05] vs placebo for the 1500-mg ER niacin) were observed. Baseline and week 16 values for glycosylated hemoglobin levels were 7.13% and 7.11%, respectively, in the placebo group; 7.28% and 7.35%, respectively, in the 1000-mg ER niacin group (P=.16 vs placebo); and 7.2% and 7.5%, respectively, in the 1500-mg ER niacin group (P=.048 vs placebo). Four patients discontinued participation because of inadequate glucose control. Rates of adverse event rates other than flushing were similar for the niacin and placebo groups. Four patients discontinued participation owing to flushing (including 1 receiving placebo). No hepatotoxic effects or myopathy were observed. CONCLUSION: Low doses of ER niacin (1000 or 1500 mg/d) are a treatment option for dyslipidemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Publication Types: Clinical Trial Multicenter Study Randomized Controlled Trial
PMID: 12123399 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Drugs Aging 2002;19(3):169-78
Management of hypercholesterolaemia in postmenopausal women.
Davidson MH, Maki KC, Karp SK, Ingram KA.
Increased rates of coronary heart disease (CHD) occur with advancing age in both sexes, although CHD rates in women lag behind those of men by about 10 years. There is a sharp increase in CHD rate among women after approximately 50 years of age. The reasons for this are not completely understood and are undoubtedly multifactorial. Cross-sectional data from large-scale population studies suggest that around the time of the menopause, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels increase by approximately 15 to 25%. Because this increase is larger than that observed in men over the same age span and closely approximates that observed in women after oophorectomy, it is likely that reduced circulating estrogen levels associated with menopause play a role in the adverse changes in both blood lipid levels and CHD incidence. There is clear evidence that treating hypercholesterolemia reduces cardiovascular risk in women, as well as in men. In the US National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guidelines, diet and other lifestyle changes are recommended as first-line therapy. If the treatment goals cannot be achieved through non-pharmacological measures, drug therapy should be added. Of the available lipid-lowering agents, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) are the clear choice to decrease LDL-cholesterol levels. However the favourable effects of statins on high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and triglyceride levels are more modest, and statins are not known to decrease lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] levels. Estrogen or hormone replacement therapy (ERT/HRT) and nicotinic acid improve LDL- and HDL-cholesterol levels and also decrease Lp(a) levels. However, ERT/HRT is no longer recommended as first-line therapy for decreasing CHD risk. Nicotinic acid is particularly useful for decreasing triglyceride levels (as are fibrates) and raising HDL-cholesterol levels. Bile-acid sequestrants reduce LDL-cholesterol and slightly increase HDL-cholesterol levels. Both bile acid sequestrants and ERT/HRT tend to raise triglyceride levels, therefore they should be used cautiously in women with hypertriglyceridaemia. Treatment should be individualised for each patient. It is important to evaluate the primary form of dyslipidaemia, other CHD risk factors, comorbidities, and the extent of lipid improvement needed in order to reach treatment goals. The effects of each type of therapy and potential adverse effects should also be considered.
Publication Types: Review Review, Tutorial
PMID: 12027776 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Ann Pharmacother 2002 May;36(5):751-7
Lipid-lowering drug use and cardiovascular events after myocardial infarction.
Klungel OH, Heckbert SR, de Boer A, Leufkens HG, Sullivan SD, Fishman PA, Veenstra DL, Psaty BM.
BACKGROUND: The benefits of lipid-lowering drug treatment for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease have been well established by randomized, controlled trials. Nonetheless, the risk of events has not been compared directly for inhibitors of hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (statins) and non-statin lipid-lowering drugs. Further, it remains uncertain whether patients in usual practice who are treated with lipid-lowering drugs after myocardial infarction (MI) gain a similar benefit with regard to the risk of cardiovascular events compared with patients in randomized, controlled trials. OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between lipid-lowering drug therapies in usual clinical practice and the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with a first MI who were discharged alive from the hospital. METHODS: An inception-cohort study was performed among 1956 enrollees of Group Health Cooperative who sustained an incident MI between July 1986 and December 1996 and survived for at least 6 months after hospitalization. Subjects with untreated low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations > 130 mg/dL or untreated total cholesterol concentrations >200 mg/dL were included. The median duration of follow-up after the first MI was 3.3 years. Medical record review was used to collect information on cardiovascular risk factors. Computerized pharmacy records were used to assess antihyperlipidemic drug use during the first 6 months after hospitalization. RESULTS: Compared with 1263 subjects who did not receive lipid-lowering drug treatment, 373 subjects who received statins had a lower risk of recurrent coronary events (relative risk [RR] 0.59; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.89), stroke (RR 0.82; 95% CI 0.35 to 1.95), atherosclerotic cardiovascular mortality (RR 0.49; 95% CI 0.21 to 1.13), and any atherosclerotic cardiovascular event (RR 0.63; 95% CI 0.40 to 0.98). Among 320 subjects who used non-statin drug therapies, the RRs were 0.66 (95% CI 0.45 to 0.97) for recurrent coronary events, 0.95 (95% CI 0.46 to 1.95) for stroke, 0.68 (95% CI 0.35 to 1.32) for cardiovascular mortality, and 0.77 (95% CI 0.53 to 1.11) for any atherosclerotic cardiovascular event, compared with untreated hyperlipidemic patients. CONCLUSIONS: In this study of MI survivors, the use of lipid-lowering drug therapies after hospitalization was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular events. These results emphasize the importance of lipid-lowering drug treatment in patients with hyperlipidemia who survive a first MI.
PMID: 11978147 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Paediatr Drugs 2002;4(4):223-30
Should pediatric patients with hyperlipidemia receive drug therapy?
Hyperlipidemia is now established as a major risk factor for causation of coronary heart disease (CHD) in adults; however, there is much debate on the level of coronary risk at which lipid-lowering drugs should be used. These issues of possible harm or lack of benefit from long-term use of lipid-lowering therapy, and cost effectiveness, are also pertinent in the pediatric setting. Evidence from several countries indicates that children have an increasing prevalence of obesity, hyperlipidemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Children who have high serum lipids 'track' these increased levels into adulthood. In some countries there is a trend to screen children for hypercholesterolemia. Family history itself is a poor discriminator in determining which children need to be screened and treated. Estimation of apolipoprotein B and/or apolipoprotein E genotype can improve prediction. Measuring high density lipoprotein cholesterol also helps, but obesity appears to be the best marker for screening children at high risk. These considerations should not cloud the need for case finding and treatment of children with genetic disorders. Low fat diets have been shown to be well tolerated and effective in children; however, there are no major long-term studies demonstrating harm or benefit in those on lipid-lowering drugs. Nevertheless, concerns regarding the psychological effect and the theoretical metabolic effects of long-term lipid lowering remain. Lipid-lowering drugs should be generally restricted to children with genetic disorders of lipid metabolism. Children with diabetes mellitus, hypertension or nonlipid-related inherited disorders leading to premature CHD in adults should be treated with diet, and with lipid-lowering drugs when they reach adulthood. Children with secondary hyperlipidemia should be assessed individually. A number of drugs and nutriceuticals are available for use in children, but only a few drugs are licensed for use in children.
Publication Types: Review Review, Tutorial
PMID: 11960511 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: J Med 2000;31(5-6):227-46
Effects of niacin-bound chromium and grape seed proanthocyanidin extract on the lipid profile of hypercholesterolemic subjects: a pilot study.
Preuss HG, Wallerstedt D, Talpur N, Tutuncuoglu SO, Echard B, Myers A, Bui M, Bagchi D.
Department of Physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.
Hypercholesterolemia, a significant cardiovascular risk factor, is prevalent in the American population. Many drugs lower circulating cholesterol levels, but they are not infrequently associated with severe side effects. Accordingly, natural means to lower cholesterol levels safely would be welcomed. We examined 40 hypercholesterolemic subjects (total cholesterol 210-300 mg/dL) in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The four groups of ten subjects received either placebo bid, chromium polynicotinate (Cr) 200 microg bid, grape seed extract (GSE) 100 mg bid, or a combination of Cr and GSE at the same dosage bid. Over two months, the average percent change +/- SEM in the total cholesterol from baseline among groups was: placebo -3.5% +/- 4, GSE -2.5% +/- 2, Cr -10% +/- 5, and combination -16.5% +/- 3. The decrease in the last group was significantly different from placebo (p < 0.01). The major decrease in cholesterol concentration was in the LDL levels: placebo -3.0% +/- 4, GSE -1.0% +/- 2.0, Cr -14% +/- 4.0, and the combination -20% +/- 6.0. Again, the combination of Cr and GSE significantly decreased LDL when compared to placebo (p<0.01). HDL levels essentially did not change among the groups. Also, there was no significant difference in the triglyceride concentrations among the groups; and no statistically significant differences were seen in the levels of autoantibodies to oxidized LDL (Ox-LDL). However, the trend was for the two groups receiving GSE to have greater decreases in the latter parameter, i.e., -30.7% and -44.0% in the GSE and combined groups in contrast to -17.3% and -10.4% in the placebo and chromium groups. We determined the number of subjects in each group who decreased autoantibodies to oxidized LDL greater than 50% over eight weeks and found these ratios among groups: placebo = 2/9, Cr = 1/10, GSE = 6/10, and combined = 3/8. Thus, 50% of subjects (9/18) receiving GSE had a greater than 50% decrease in autoantibodies compared to 16% (3/19) in the two groups not receiving GSE. No significant changes occurred in the levels of circulating homocysteine and blood pressure among the four groups. We conclude that a combination of Cr and GSE can decrease total cholesterol and LDL levels significantly. Furthermore, there was a trend to decrease the circulating autoantibodies to oxidized LDL in the two groups receiving GSE.
Publication Types: Clinical Trial Randomized Controlled Trial
PMID: 11508317 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: N C Med J 1998 Mar-Apr;59(2):87-8
Niacin. Help for your cholesterol--harm for your liver.
Rourk RM, Rehman NU.
Rockingham Gastroenterology Associates, PLLC, Reidsville 27320-2899, USA.
PMID: 9558894 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: J Cardiovasc Risk 1997 Jun;4(3):161-3
Comment on: J Cardiovasc Risk. 1997 Jun;4(3):165-71.
Nicotinic acid--the underused ally in the fight against coronary disease.
O'Keefe JH, Harris WS.
Mid America Heart Institute, St Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri 64111, USA.
Publication Types: Comment Review Review, Tutorial
PMID: 9475669 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Am J Health Syst Pharm 1997 Dec 15;54(24):2803
Comment on: Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1997 Dec 15;54(24):2815-9.
Safe use of niacin.
Publication Types: Comment Editorial
PMID: 9428949 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Br J Ophthalmol 1995 Jan;79(1):54-6
Adverse ocular effects associated with niacin therapy.
Fraunfelder FW, Fraunfelder FT, Illingworth DR.
Oregon Health Sciences University, Department of Ophthalmology, Portland 97201.
In a retrospective survey of patients taking medication for hyperlipidaemia, those taking niacin (nicotinic acid) were more likely (p < 0.05) to report sicca syndromes, blurred vision, eyelid oedema, and macular oedema compared with those who never took niacin. Additionally, 7% of those taking niacin discontinued the drug owing to adverse ocular side effects, while none of the other lipid lowering agents were found to cause these side effects (p = 0.016). Data from spontaneous reporting systems support a possible association of decreased vision, cystoid macular oedema, sicca-like symptoms, discoloration of the eyelids with or without periorbital or eyelid oedema, proptosis, loss of eyebrow or eyelashes, and superficial punctate keratitis with the use of niacin in high doses. Decreased vision may be marked, and if the drug is not discontinued, may progress to cystoid macular oedema. All ocular side effects listed above are reversible if the association with niacin is recognised and the drug is discontinued; both the incidence and severity of the ocular side effects seem to be dose dependent.
PMID: 7880795 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Am J Cardiol 1994 Oct 15;74(8):841-2
Gharavi AG, Diamond JA, Smith DA, Phillips RA.
Mount Sinai Medical Center, Hypertension Section, New York, New York 10029-6574.
Publication Types: Review Review of Reported Cases
PMID: 7942568 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Postgrad Med J 1981 Aug;57(670):511-5
Severe hypertriglyceridaemia responding to insulin and nicotinic acid therapy.
A patient with unusually severe hypertriglyceridaemia (serum concentration initially 258 mmol/l or 22600 mg/dl) and hypercholesterolaemia is reported and discussed. The triglyceride elevation was found to reside within the very low density lipoprotein fraction and was probably attributable to the combination of diabetes mellitus and familial hypertriglyceridaemia. Treatment with insulin and restriction of dietary carbohydrate led to a 50% reduction in the triglyceride concentration, and the addition of nicotinic acid in modest doses led ultimately to a complete normalization of the patient's lipid values. A close correlation was noted between the falling triglyceride concentration and the rising serum sodium concentration during the course of successful therapy. Overall, it is felt likely that this patient's severe and reversible hypertriglyceridaemia was on the basis of excessively rapid lipolysis leading to high concentrations of very low density lipoprotein production. Combined therapy with insulin and nicotinic acid is recommended for other patients of this nature.
PMID: 7029504 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]