, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 69-81
Date: 20 Aug 2012

Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of a Combination of Niacin Extended Release and Simvastatin in Patients with Dyslipidemia

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High-dose HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) fail to prevent approximately two-thirds of cardiovascular events. This fact has focused increased attention on treating abnormalities of non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (non-HDL-C), HDL-C, and triglycerides in national guidelines and has intensified interest in combination therapy.


The OCEANS study (Open-label evaluation of the safety and efficacy of a Combination of niacin ER and simvAstatin in patieNts with dySlipidemia; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00080275) evaluated the safety and efficacy of a combination of niacin extended release and simvastatin (NER/S; SIMCOR®) over 52 weeks in 520 patients with mixed dyslipidemia. After a ≥4-week run-in phase of diet modification and simvastatin 40 mg/day, median baseline values (mg/dL) were: non-HDL-C = 141, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) =110, HDL-C = 45, and triglyceride = 151. Patients were randomized to an 8- or 12-week niacin titration scheme to a maximum NER/S dosage of 2000/40 mg/day.


Differences between titration groups in tolerability, safety, and efficacy were minimal; therefore, all results are for pooled titration groups. The safety of NER/S was consistent with the safety profile of each individual component. Treatment with NER/S was well tolerated: 71% of patients experienced flushing and 92% of flushing episodes were mild or moderate in intensity. Overall, 61 % of patients experienced flushing episodes that were rated as mild or moderate in intensity. Flushing decreased over time: <40% of those who had flushing during titration experienced flushing during the final 12 weeks. A total of 20% of patients discontinued treatment because of a treatment-related adverse event, including 7% who discontinued because of flushing. Median changes from baseline (following the simvastatin 40 mg/day run-in phase) to 24 weeks were: non-HDL-C = −27.3%, LDL-C = −25.0%, HDL-C = +23.9%, and triglycerides = −35.9% (all p < 0.0001 vs baseline). In lipid-treatment-naive patients, NER/S 2000/40 mg/day decreased non-HDL-C, LDL-C, and triglycerides by approximately 50% and increased HDL-C by approximately 25% when week-24 lipid values were compared with lipid values obtained prior to the simvastatin 40 mg/day run-in. All three therapeutic lipid targets (LDL-C [risk-adjusted goal], HDL-C ≥40 mg/dL, and triglycerides <150 mg/dL) were achieved concurrently by 65% of patients treated with NER/S.


Treatment with NER/S 2000/40 mg/day is well tolerated, has no unanticipated adverse events, and provides additional, clinically relevant improvements in multiple lipid parameters beyond statin monotherapy.