[Comparative effects of policosanol and two HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors on type II hypercholesterolemia].


Prat H, Roman O, Pino E




Rev Med Chil


BACKGROUND: Policosanol is a new cholesterol lowering agent derived from sugar cane. AIM: To compare the cholesterol lowering efficacy of policosanol with HMG CoA inhibitors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with a LDL cholesterol over 160 mg/dl were studied. If, after 6 weeks of diet, cholesterol persisted elevated, they were doubly blind randomized to receive policosanol 10 mg/day (55 patients), lovastatin 20 mg/day (26 patients) or simvastatin 10 mg/day (25 patients). Serum cholesterol was measured again after 8 weeks of therapy. RESULTS: Initial demographic and laboratory data were similar among treatment groups. A 24% LDL cholesterol reduction was obtained with policosanol, compared with a 22% reduction with lovastatin and a 15% reduction with simvastatin. HDL cholesterol significantly increased in patients on policosanol and did not change in the other treatment groups. Adverse effects of policosanol were mild and unspecific. No changes in hepatic enzymes were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Policosanol is a safe and effective cholesterol reducing agent.