This study compared the efficacy and safety of pravastatin and gemfibrozil in the treatment of primary hypercholesterolemia. Three hundred eighty-five outpatients from 13 lipid clinics in Italy participated in this randomized double-blind study. Patients were assigned to receive either 40 mg once daily of pravastatin or 600 mg of gemfibrozil twice daily after an initial diet lead-in period. After 24 weeks, mean reductions from baseline values of plasma total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were, respectively, 23% and 30% with pravastatin and 14% and 17% with gemfibrozil. Significant lipid-lowering effects were noted within 4 weeks. Apolipoprotein B decrease was 21% with pravastatin and 13% with gemfibrozil. A statistically significant increase of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol of 5% was achieved with pravastatin compared with a 13% increase for gemfibrozil. Serum triglyceride values decreased 5% with pravastatin and 37% with gemfibrozil. Familial and polygenic hypercholesterolemic patients were also examined separately. Pravastatin effectiveness in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was greater by 6% in polygenic than in familial hypercholesterolemic patients. Treatment for 25 patients (eight treated with pravastatin and 17 treated with gemfibrozil) was discontinued during the study. The incidence of clinical symptoms and laboratory alterations was low for both treatment groups. Pravastatin and gemfibrozil were well tolerated, but pravastatin was significantly more effective in reducing total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in primary (either familial or polygenic) hypercholesterolemias than gemfibrozil.
(Arch Intern Med. 1990;151:146-152)
Crepaldi G, Baggio G, Arca M, et al. Pravastatin vs Gemfibrozil in the Treatment of Primary Hypercholesterolemia: The Italian Multicenter Pravastatin Study I. Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(1):146–152. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400010148023
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