Liptruzet, a combination of ezetimibe and atorvastatin that both reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood, has been recently approved by the FDA as a new treatment for hyperlipidemia. The drug is manufactured by Merck & Co.
Hyperlipidemia is general medical term that describes a condition where there are too many lipids or fats in the blood. Our body both needs high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), better known as good and bad cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol can block the arteries which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
The FDA confirmed that Liptruzet is safe for patients with either primary or mixed hyperlipidemia. It aims to balance the level of LDL and HDL in the blood which can be very beneficial to those who were having challenges in lowering their cholesterol even if they have been practicing proper diet and healthy lifestyle.
The drug manufacturer received a detailed letter from the FDA about the results of their tests on the components of this drug last March 2012.
Ezetimibe, also known as Zetia, helps in the reduction of LDL by preventing the intestine from absorbing the cholesterol while Atorvastatin, also known as Lipitor, prevents the liver from producing more cholesterol. Liptruzet should be taken once a day with a dosage that doesn’t go over 10/80 mg/day. Merck is marketing the pill for $5.50 each.
Cardiology experts criticized the FDA’s decision to approve this drug which is quite alarming. Ezetimibe has been controversial as there were no evidences that it can prevent cardiovascular diseases in the future. A study is being done about this drug but will not be completed until 2014.
Merck defended that Liptruzet has been tested and they didn’t see any signs of it increasing the risk to any cardiovascular diseases in the future.