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In patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), higher numbers of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) favourably influence clinical outcome. Controversially, increased apoptosis of endothelial cells (EC) may reflect vascular damage. Statins have been shown to improve vascular damage and enhance EPC function and numbers. The availability of ezetimibe, a potent novel cholesterol absorption inhibitor, allows to distinguish between lipid-lowering and pleiotropic properties of statins.
Ezetimibe is a selective cholesterol absorption inhibitor, which potently inhibits the uptake and absorption of biliary and dietary cholesterol from the small intestine without affecting the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, triglycerides or bile acids. Identification and characterization of Niemann-Pick C1 Like 1 (NPC1L1) has established NPC1L1 as an essential protein in the intestinal cholesterol absorption process. While otherwise phenotypically normal, Npc1l1 null mice exhibit a significant reduction in the intestinal uptake and absorption of cholesterol and phytosterols. Characterization of the NPC1L1 pathway revealed that ezetimibe specifically binds to NPC1L1 and inhibits its sterol transport function. Npc1l1 null mice were resistant to diet-induced hypercholesterolemia, and when crossed with apoE null mice, were completely resistant to the development of atherosclerosis. In Npc1l1/apoE null mice or apoE null mice treated with ezetimibe plasma cholesterol levels were reduced primarily in the apoB48 containing chylomicron remnant lipoproteins relative to untreated apoE null mice. SR-B1 has been proposed to play a role in intestinal cholesterol uptake, but in Npc1l1/SR-B1 double null mice intestinal cholesterol absorption was not different than Npc1l1 null alone mice. Therefore, NPC1L1 is the critical intestinal sterol transporter which influences whole body cholesterol homeostasis, and is the molecular target of ezetimibe.
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HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) are the first-line drugs for use in the reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Generic statins could change the cost effectiveness of statin therapies in Spain, and more population groups could be included in the recommendations for reduction of cholesterol levels based on cost effectiveness.
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Influence of ezetimibe on ADMA/DDAH/NO pathway demonstrated in this work may suggest protective properties of this drug on rat livers injured by IR and, to a lower extent, on livers non-subjected to IR.
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Ezetimibe is known as a Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1) inhibitor and has been used as an agent for hypercholesterolemia. In our previous study, ezetimibe administration improved glycemic control and increased glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an incretin hormone with anti-diabetic properties. However, the mechanisms by which ezetimibe stimulates GLP-1 secretion are not fully understood. Thus, the specific aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism(s) by which ezetimibe stimulates GLP-1 secretion.
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Not all cardiovascular protection provided by statins is explained by their beneficial effects on lipoproteins. Old (e.g., clofibrate) and new (e.g., torcetrapib and ezetimibe) agents, with similar or more intense beneficial effect over lipoproteins, do not reproduce the beneficial effects of statins. Besides their anti-inflammatory and other pleiotropic effects, a blood pressure-lowering effect could be an additional mechanism of cardiovascular protection of statins. Large trials of statins in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease did not report an effect on blood pressure, but the use of blood pressure-lowering agents was left to the discretion of physicians during the trial. Post hoc analyses of small trials and a meta-analysis of some of them have suggested that statins could lower systolic blood pressure by approximately 4 mmHg, particularly in patients with high blood pressure. Most studies, however, had small samples and were not blinded. Others had a cross-over or observational design. The overall view of these studies rules out a substantial blood pressure-lowering effect of statins. An effect restricted to subjects with high blood pressure could ultimately derive from the anti-inflammatory effect of statins, since higher levels of C-reactive protein are associated with higher blood pressure. An unequivocal demonstration of an antihypertensive effect of statins, however, is still lacking, and a randomized trial with enough power to evaluate blood pressure variation in a large range of blood pressure values is required to demonstrate whether statins definitely have an antihypertensive effect.
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This Phase IV, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolled patients aged 18 to 75 years with FH and an LDL-C concentration >2.5 mmol/L who were receiving a maximally tolerated and stable regimen of a statin + ezetimibe. Patients were randomly assigned to receive colesevelam 3.75 g/d or placebo added to the statin + ezetimibe for 12 weeks. The primary efficacy outcome was the difference in LDL-C between the colesevelam and placebo groups after 6 weeks. Secondary efficacy outcomes were between-group differences in LDL-C, total cholesterol (TC), HDL-C, triglyceride (Tg), apolipoprotein (apo) B, and apoA-I concentrations, as well as apoB/apoA-I ratio after 12 weeks. Tolerability was assessed based on the prevalences of adverse events by organ system class in each treatment group.
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To compare the proportion of patients at high risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) achieving the recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) treatment goal of < 100 mg/dL and the optional LDL-C target of < 70 mg/dL with coadministration of ezetimibe and simvastatin (EZE/SIMVA) vs either atorvastatin or simvastatin monotherapy.
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Cholecystosteatosis is the accumulation of gallbladder wall fats leading to decreased gallbladder emptying. Ezetimibe inhibits intestinal fat absorption and prevents murine gallstone formation. However, the influence of ezetimibe on gallbladder emptying and cholecystosteatosis has not been studied. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that ezetimibe would improve gallbladder motility by preventing the buildup of fats in the gallbladder wall.
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Statin therapy has proven to be one cornerstone for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, but the clinical application is suboptimal. Adherence to statin therapy in Hungary in primary prevention is very low, but not known in patients with myocardial infarction.