Vytorin and Zetia: Answers for Consumers

A new study shows that the much prescribed cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin doesn’t slow the buildup of plaque in arteries any more than do cheaper statin drugs. This is the latest study sure to sow confusion among consumers taking these drugs, and their doctors, along with the Vioxx controversy and other recent episodes concerning pain drugs.

The study looked at whether a combination of Zetia and Zocor works better than Zocor by itself.

A USA Today article yesterday features a Q&A with two noted cardiologists, which helps to explain the situation. Vytorin itself contains a statin: Vytorin is a combination of two drugs, Zetia and Zocor, a popular statin. (Lipitor is another widely used statin, and one of the most-prescribed drugs in the world).

An entry in the Wall Street Journal‘s health blog examines the specifics of the study and the implications of the findings, that Zetia doesn’t do anything to enhance Zocor.

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