3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitory activity of atorvastatin lasts upto 20–30 hours. This study aimed at comparing the maintenance of National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATPIII) goal by the alternate-day therapy to daily treatment. This randomized, open-label trial included 300 patients of dyslipidemia or coronary artery disease on stable doses of atorvastatin. These patients met their respective NCEP-ATPIII cholesterol goals and were randomized to receive the same doses of atorvastatin every day (QD) or every other day (QOD) in a 1:1 ratio for 12 weeks. The efficacy criteria were (1) proportion of patients maintaining the low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) goal, (2) comparison of changes in the total cholesterol, LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels from baseline. The proportions of patients maintaining their LDL-C goals in QD and QOD groups at 6 weeks were 83.9% (60.3–97.5) versus 70.9% (59.3–82.5) (P < 0.01) and at 12 weeks were 84.6% (70.9–98.3) versus 73.8% (63.8–83.8) (P < 0.05). Per-protocol analysis showed 95.5% (80.0–111.0) versus 79.1% (66.2–92.0) (P < 0.001) patients at 6 weeks and 91.9% (82.0–106.8) versus 77.4% (64.8–90) (P < 0.05) patients at 12 weeks had maintained their LDL-C goals in the QD and QOD groups. A significant increase was observed in the levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride at 6 and 12 weeks compared with baseline values in the QOD group. Alternate-day treatment of atorvastatin was inferior to daily treatment in maintaining the NCEP-ATPIII goal.
*Department of Pharmacology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
†Department of Cardiology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
Reprints: Samir Malhotra, DM, #4035, P. N. Chhuttani Block, Department of Pharmacology, PGIMER, Chandigarh 160012, India (e-mail: email@example.com).
Sources of support that require acknowledgment: None.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Received September 13, 2011
Accepted January 17, 2012