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  • FDA Date: 01/08/2009

    Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) FDA Drug Safety Communication

    Follow-Up to the January 25, 2008 Early Communication about an Ongoing Data Review for Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (marketed as Vytorin), Ezetimibe (marketed as Zetia), and Simvastatin (marketed as Zocor)

    This information reflects FDA's current analysis of data available to FDA concerning this drug. FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available.

    FDA has completed its review of the final clinical study report of the ENHANCE trial (Effect of Combination Ezetimibe and High-Dose Simvastatin vs. Simvastatin Alone on the Atherosclerotic Process in Patients with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia). Preliminary results from this trial had indicated that there was no significant difference between Vytorin and simvastatin-treated patients in the thickness of the carotid (neck) arteries despite greater lowering of LDL (bad) cholesterol with Vytorin compared to simvastatin. The difference in the changes in carotid artery thickness between the two groups was NOT statistically significant. However, the levels of LDL cholesterol decreased by 56% in the Vytorin group and decreased by 39% in the simvastatin group. The difference in the reductions in LDL cholesterol between the two groups WAS statistically significant.

    The results from ENHANCE do not change FDA's position that an elevated LDL cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and that lowering LDL cholesterol reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease. Based on current available data, patients should not stop taking Vytorin or other cholesterol-lowering medications.

    View the full FDA Drug Safety Communication on FDA.gov