Magazine article Drug Topics

Early Sightings

Magazine article Drug Topics

Early Sightings

Article excerpt

PLAQUE ATTACK

Long-term treatment with simvastatin (Zocor, Merck) reduces hyperlipidemia and slows the progression of coronary atherosclerosis, according to the recently published Multicentre Anti-Atheroma Study. In this four-year clinical trial, which appeared in Lancet, patients treated with simvastatin 20 mg per day experienced fewer new coronary lesions, fewer coronary occlusions, less atherosclerotic progression, and more regression of atherosclerotic plaques than did patients treated with placebo. There was no difference in clinical outcome between the two groups...Investigators at Boston University School of Medicine have discovered that nitric oxide has a direct as well as an indirect effect on smooth muscle relaxation. This finding may have therapeutic applications in the treatment of atherosclerosis, since the indirect action of nitric oxide is impaired in this disease.

HEAD-TO-HEAD COMPARISON

For the treatment of acute migraine headache, subcutaneous dihydroergotamine (DHE-45, Sandoz) and subcutaneous sumatriptan (Imitrex, Glaxo) are comparable in terms of efficacy and tolerability, but relapse is more common with sumatriptan, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Family Physicians in Boston last month. The study, which is the first randomized, double-blind comparison of the two agents, found that 86% of the patients treated with dihydroergotamine and 90% of the patients treated with sumatriptan experienced relief within three hours of administration. A recurrence rate of 18% was reported in patients treated with dihydroergotamine, while a 46% recurrence rate was reported for the sumatriptan group. …

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