Effectiveness and safety of low-dose pravastatin and squalene, alone and in combination, in elderly patients with hypercholesterolemia

Paul Chan, Brian Tomlinson, Ching Bing Lee, Ying Shiung Lee

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84 Citations (Scopus)


A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to compare the efficacy and safety of low-dose (10 mg) pravastatin and squalene (860 mg), either alone or in combination therapy, with placebo in the treatment of elderly patients with hypercholesterolemia. Ambulatory elderly patients (N = 102) were assigned in randomized fashion to receive active treatment or placebo for 20 weeks after o single-blind placebo lead-in period of 8 weeks. Total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in plasma were at least 250 mg/dL and less than 300 mg/dL, respectively. Concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins were measured, and clinical laboratory tests included liver function and creatine kinase determinations. Pravastatin 10 mg daily was more effective than squalene in reducing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides and in increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Combination therapy significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol to a greater extent than either drug alone. Adverse events and clinical laboratory abnormalities were generally mild and transient in all groups, and all but two patients finished the study. The incidence of side effects was low; myopathy did not occur. Coadministration of pravastatin and squalene combined the specific effects of the two drugs on lipoprotein concentrations. This combination may be useful and more cost-effective in elderly patients with hypercholesterolemia, who might have a higher incidence of side effects when using larger doses of pravastatin alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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