Vytorin provides heart-healthy protection against kidney disease

Related articles

A new study suggests that Merck’s cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin reduces the risk of vascular events in patients with chronic kidney disease. The results from a clinical trial called Sharp, were presented at a conference for kidney specialists in Denver Saturday and indicate that treating kidney disease patients with Vytorin resulted in a 17 percent reduction in major vascular events compared with those receiving a placebo. Vytorin is a combination of two cholesterol-lowering drugs: Zetia, which reduces cholesterol absorption by the intestines, and Zocor (simvastatin), a statin drug that reduces blood cholesterol levels.

The Sharp trial, however, did not examine whether Zetia by itself improves vascular health because the trial only used a placebo control group, rather than comparing Vytorin to standard statin treatment. A larger clinical trial of 18,000 patients scheduled to conclude in 2013 will determine whether Vytorin can outperform statins alone in reducing vascular events.