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Ezetimibe, a promising lipid-lowering agent for the treatment of dyslipidaemia in HIV-infected patients with poor response to statins

Negredo, Eugeniaa,b; Moltó, Joséa; Puig, Jordia; Cinquegrana, Denisea; Bonjoch, Annaa; Pérez-Álvarez, Núriaa; López-Blázquez, Raquela; Blanco, Asunciónc; Clotet, Bonaventuraa,c; Rey-Joly, Celestinob

doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000247573.95880.db
Clinical Science

Objective: To assess the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetic interactions of ezetimibe in HIV-infected patients with poorly controlled antiretroviral-associated dyslipidaemia while taking pravastatin alone.

Design: A prospective, open-label, one-arm study of 24 weeks duration.

Patients and setting: Nineteen patients (18 on stable HAART), with low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol values of ≥ 130 mg/dl despite the use of pravastatin.

Methods: Ezetimibe, 10 mg/day, was added to pravastatin 20 mg/day, while patients maintained the same antiretroviral regimen. Determinations of total, LDL-, and high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides, apoproteins, and inflammatory factors (homocystein and C-reactive protein) were performed at baseline, and at weeks 6, 12, and 24. Liver enzymes and creatinine phosphokinase were also assessed. Protease inhibitor (PI) or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) Cmin was determined just before and 12 weeks after ezetimibe introduction.

Results: At week 24, 61.5% of patients achieved the endpoint of the study (LDL-cholesterol < 130 mg/dl). Significant declines in mean total and LDL-cholesterol levels were observed between baseline and weeks 6, 12, and 24, irrespective of antiretroviral type (PI or NNRTI). Mean HDL-cholesterol and apoprotein A increased significantly. No patients discontinued therapy due to intolerance or presented toxicity of grade 2 or more. No differences were observed in lopinavir or nevirapine Cmin measured just before and 12 weeks after ezetimibe introduction.

Conclusion: The addition of ezetimibe to ongoing pravastatin seems to be an effective and safe option for HIV-infected patients not achieving the NCEP ATPIII LDL-cholesterol goals while receiving a statin alone. Its high tolerability and the lack of interactions with the cytochrome CYP3A4 indicate that ezetimibe will not increase the risk of toxicity or pharmacokinetic interactions with antiretrovirals.

Author Information

From the aLluita contra la SIDA, Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

bInternal Medicine Department, Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

cIrsicaixa Foundation, Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Received 14 June, 2006

Accepted 11 July, 2006

Correspondence to E. Negredo, Fundació Lluita contra la SIDA, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Ctra de Canyet, s/n, 08916 Badalona, Barcelona, Spain. Tel: +34 93 497 88 87; fax: +34 93 465 76 02; e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.