A randomized, open-label study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pitavastatin compared with simvastatin in Korean patients with hypercholesterolemia

Sungha Park, Hyun Jae Kang, Se Joong Rim, Jong Won Ha, Byung Hee Oh, Namsik Chung, Seung Yun Cho

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pitavastatin is a 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor used to treat hypercholesterolemia. Objective: The goal of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of pitavastatin versus those of simvastatin in Korean patients with hypercholesterolemia. Methods: This was an 8-week, multicenter, prospective, randomized, open-label, Phase III clinical trial. Male and female Korean patients with hypercholesterolemia who were between the ages of 20and 75 years and who had a fasting triglyceride level <600 mg/dLand a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level >130 mg/dLafter a 4-week dietary lead-in period were eligible for entry. Eligible patients were randomized into 2 groups in a 1:1 ratio. Patients received pitavastatin 2 mg once daily or simvastatin 20 mg once daily for 8weeks. The medication was administered initially for 4 weeks, and an additional 4 weeks of study medication was prescribed at week 4. The final visit was conducted 8 weeks after randomization. Results: Of the 104 patients randomized to treatment, 95 patients (59 women; 36 men) completed the study (49 in the pitavastatin group [meanage, 59.9 years] and 46 in the simvastatin group [mean age, 56.4 years]). No significant difference was found between groups with respect to patient age, sex, or body mass index. There was no significant difference in the percent decrease in LDL cholesterol levels (mean [SD],38.2% [11.6%] decrease for the pitavastatin group vs 39.4% [12.9%] decrease for the simvastatin group [P = 0.648]). Also, therewere no significant differences between the 2 study groups in the percent changes in total cholesterol, triglyceride, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels from baseline to study end. No significant difference was observed for the proportion of patients who achieved the LDL cholesterol goal of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III: 93.9% (46/49) of patients in the pitavastatin group and 91.3% (42/46) of patients in the simvastatin group (P = 0.709) met the target level. At least 1 clinical adverse event and at least 1 adverse drug reaction were observed in 25.0%(13/52) and 11.5% (6/52), respectively, of patients in the pitavastatin group, and 37.3% (19/51) and 23.5% (12/51), respectively, in the simvastatin group; this difference was not statistically significant. The most common adverse event was an elevation in creatine kinase levels >2 times the upper limit of normal in 3.8% of pitavastatin-treated patients and 9.8% of simvastatin-treated patients (P = 0.269). There were no serious adverse drug reactions observed in either group. Condusion: The HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor pitavastatin was foundto be noninferior to simvastatin in terms of reducing LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and increasing HDL cholesterol levels, in Korean patients with hypercholesterolemia after 8 weeks of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1082
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was sponsored by Choongwae Pharma Corporation, Seoul, South Korea. The study was conducted with cooperation from Choongwae Pharma Corporation for its design, conduct, and analysis of data. However, none of the coauthors in this study has any conflict of interest with Choongwae Pharma Corporation or any other pharmaceutical companies that are involved in the production of pitavastatin. We would also like to thank Noh Kyung-Nam and Park Eunjung, the study coordinators, for their assistance with the coordination of the study and collection of the data.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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