Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) tablets (80mg) are more effective than simvastatin (20mg-40 mg) at protecting patients who have had heart attacks, it has been claimed.
The drug, which is manufactured by Pfizer, was found to be more effective than simvastatin in the Incremental Decreases through Aggressive Lipid Lowering (IDEAL) clinical trial.
All of the 8,888 patients enrolled in the trial had previously had a heart attack, and 2,546 of them had experienced at least one additional “cardiovascular event” after entering the trial.
Cardiovascular events were defined as heart attacks, strokes, and cardiac revascularisation procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty.
The study found that there was a 24% reduction in relative risk of having a second event in those patients treated with Lipitor rather than those treated with simvastatin.
Dr Matti Tikkanen, professor of medicine at Helsinki University, and lead author of the analysis said: “Heart attack patients are extremely vulnerable to experiencing even more cardiovascular events. After such an event, the most important task of the treating physician is to reduce the risk of the next cardiovascular event.
“This analysis showed that Lipitor was more effective than simvastatin in reducing the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events.”
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