Comparison of efficacy and safety of atorvastatin (10 mg) with simvastatin (10 mg) at six weeks

William Insull, Stephanie Kafonek, David Goldner, Franklin Zieve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The 6-week efficacy and safety of atorvastatin versus simvastatin was determined during a 54-week, open-label, multicenter, parallel-arm, treat-to-target study. In all, 1,424 patients with mixed dyslipidemia (triglyceride 200 to 600 mg/dl [2.26 to 6.77 mmol/L]) were stratified to 1 of 2 groups (diabetes or no diabetes). Patients were then randomized to receive either atorvastatin 10 mg/day (n = 730) or simvastatin 10 mg/day (n = 694). Efficacy was determined by measuring changes from baseline in lipid parameters including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B. Compared with simvastatin, atorvastatin produced significantly greater (p < 0.0001) reductions from baseline in LDL cholesterol (37.2% vs 29.6%), total cholesterol (27.6% vs 21.5%), triglycerides (22.1% vs 16.0%), the ratio of LDL cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (41.1% vs 33.7%), and apolipoprotein B (28.3% vs 21.2%), and a comparable increase from baseline in HDL cholesterol (7.4% vs 6.9%). Atorvastatin was also significantly (p < 0.0001) more effective than simvastatin at treating the overall patient population to LDL cholesterol goals (55.6% vs 38.4%). Fewer than 6% of patients in either treatment group experienced drug-attributable adverse events, which were mostly mild to moderate in nature. Diabetic patients treated with either statin had safety characteristics similar to nondiabetics, with atorvastatin exhibiting superior efficacy to simvastatin. In conclusion, atorvastatin, at a dose of 10 mg/day, is more effective than simvastatin 10 mg/day at lowering lipids and reaching LDL cholesterol goals in patients with mixed dyslipidemia. Both statins are well tolerated with safety profiles similar to other members of the statin class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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