No surprise here. A recent clinical trial has determined that the cholesterol drug Zetia failed to show any medical benefits. Alex Berenson of The New York Times reports:
The results will add to the growing concern over Zetia and Vytorin, a drug that combines Zetia with another cholesterol medicine in a single pill. About 70 percent of patients who take Zetia do so in the form of Vytorin, which combines Zetia with the cholesterol drug Zocor.You guessed it! Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of taking needless magic pills. Here he talks about something all physicians should remember. Take a look:
While Zetia lowers cholesterol by 15 to 20 percent in most patients, no trial has ever shown that it can reduce heart attacks and strokes — or even that it reduces the growth of the fatty plaques in arteries that can cause heart problems.
This trial was designed to show that Zetia could reduce the growth of those plaques. Instead, the plaques actually grew somewhat faster in patients taking Zetia along with Zocor than in those taking Zocor alone. Patients in the trial who took the combination of Zetia and Zocor were receiving it in the form of Vytorin pills.
Dr. Steven Nissen, the chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, said the results were “shocking.” Patients should not be prescribed Zetia unless all other cholesterol drugs have failed, he said.
In the first pharmacology lecture that I head in medical school, the physician impressed on us that all drugs are toxic and we should never forget this. We were taught that medications work because of their pharmacologic properties—properties that enable the substance to interfere with, block, or stimulate an activity of the body. Drugs typically modify the way the body expresses the signs and symptoms of disease, but in chronic disease states, they do not undo the damage or remove the disease.I’m curious. How do drug-makers market around this debacle? That’s the real magic!
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