Lipid-altering efficacy and safety of simvastatin 80 mg/day: Worldwide long-term experience in patients with hypercholesterolemia

M. H. Davidson, E. A. Stein, D. B. Hunninghake, L. Ose, C. A. Dujovne, W. Insull, M. Bertolami, S. R. Weiss, J. J P Kastelein, R. S. Scott, S. Campodónico, I. D. Escobar, H. G. Schrott, H. Bays, M. E. Stepanavage, M. Wu, A. C. Tate, M. R. Melino, D. Kush, M. MercuriY. B. Mitchel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background and Aim: Clinical data suggesting that larger decreases in low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) result in greater reductions in coronary heart disease events have led to the establishment of aggressive LDL-C targets for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. In view of this, the efficacy and safety of a new maximum dose of simvastatin, 80 mg, were evaluated in 9 studies involving 2819 hypercholesterolemic patients. This report focuses on the combined results from the 4 main or Pivotal studies in which a total of 1936 patients received simvastatin 40 or 80 mg for 36 to 48 weeks. Methods and Results: The Pivotal studies had similar randomized, multicenter, controlled, double-blind, parallel-group designs. Their combined results demonstrated a significant advantage in the LDL-C-lowering effect for the 80 mg dose. At week 24, the mean percentage reductions (95% confidence intervals) from baseline in LDL-C for the 40 and 80 mg groups were -39.8% (-40.9, -38.7) and -45.7% (-46.5, -45.0) respectively (p<0.001, between groups), and larger reductions in total cholesterol and triglycerides were also observed in the 80 mg group. Both doses were well tolerated. No new or unexpected adverse events were observed and the overall clinical event profiles were similar in the two groups. Clinically significant hepatic transaminase increases (>3 times the upper limit of normal/ULN) and myopathy (muscle symptoms plus creatine kinase increase >10 times ULN) occurred infrequently with both doses. Simvastatin 80 mg had a comparable efficacy and safety profile in women and men as well as in non-elderly and elderly patients. Conclusions: Simvastatin 80 mg provides additional LDL-C and triglyceride reductions compared to the 40 mg dose and has an excellent safety and tolerability profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2000


  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Simvastatin
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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