Effects of policosanol and pravastatin on lipid profile, platelet aggregation and endothelemia in older hypercholesterolemic patients.
Zhong Yao Cai. 2003 Jan;26(1):31-2. PMID: 10939028
This randomized, double-blind study was undertaken to compare the effects of policosanol and pravastatin administered at 10 mg/day on lipid profile, platelet aggregation and endothelemia in older patients with type II hypercholesterolemia and high coronary risk. After 6 weeks on a lipid-lowering diet, patients with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels > 3.4 mmol/l were randomized to receive, under double-blind conditions, policosanol or pravastatin 10 mg tablets that were taken with the evening meal for 8 weeks. Policosanol significantly (p < 0.00001) lowered LDL-cholesterol (19.3%), total cholesterol (13.9%) and the ratios of LDL-cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (28.3%) and total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol (24.4%). Pravastatin significantly (p < 0.00001) lowered LDL-cholesterol (15.6%), total cholesterol (11.8%) and the ratios (p < 0.0001) of Policosanol, but not pravastatin, significantly increased (p < 0.001) levels of HDL-cholesterol (18.4%) and reduced (p < 0.01) triglycerides (14.1%). Policosanol was more effective (p < 0.05) than pravastatin in inhibiting platelet aggregation induced by all agonists and it significantly reduced (p < 0.0001) platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid at 1.5 and 3 mmol/l by 42.2% and 69.5%, respectively, platelet aggregation induced by collagen 0.5 microgram/ml (p < 0.05) (16.6%) and that induced by adenosine diphosphate 1 mumol/l (p < 0.01) (20.3%). Pravastatin significantly reduced (p < 0.001) (27%) only platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid 3 mmol/l. Both drugs significantly decreased (p < 0.00001) endothelemia levels but final values were significantly lower (p < 0.001) in the policosanol than in the pravastatin group. Both treatments were safe and well tolerated. Pravastatin significantly (p < 0.01) increased serum levels of alanine amine transferase but individual values remained within normal. Two patients on pravastatin discontinued the study because of adverse experiences (myocardial infarction and jaundice, respectively). In conclusion, the effects of policosanol (10 mg/day) on lipid profile, platelet aggregation and endothelemia in older patients with type II hypercholesterolemia and high coronary risk are more favorable than those induced by the same doses of pravastatin.