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Published on 16 March 2010

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Pill “cuts risk of heart attacks”


Cholesterol drug Lipitor has been found to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke if taken in high doses.

Scientists revisited previous research and found it indicated that patients who have both kidney disease and heart disease and who had either metabolic syndrome or were obese could benefit, drug giant Pfizer said.

Lipitor has not been approved to treat obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, which are all related risks to the heart.

The starter dose of Lipitor for patients is 10 milligrams, but the data showed people who were given 80 milligrams had cut by around a third their risk of cardiovascular problems, such as death from heart disease or heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest.

Muscle pain and elevated liver enzymes, which may mean a patient’s liver is damaged, were noted as the most common side-effects of the drug. Of all the patients given the increased dose of Lipitor, around one in 20 developed sore muscles, similar to the low-dose group. The high-dose group had 1.2% of patients left with elevated liver enzymes, compared with 0.2% of the low-dose group.

Copyright Press Association 2010

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