Etofibrate is a hybrid drug which combines niacin with clofibrate. After contact with plasma hydrolases, both constituents are gradually released in a controlled-release manner. In this study, we compared the effects of etofibrate and controlled-release niacin on lipid profile and plasma lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) levels of patients with triglyceride levels of 200 to 400 mg/dl, total cholesterol above 240 mg/dl and Lp(a) above 40 mg/dl. These patients were randomly assigned to a double-blind 16-week treatment period with etofibrate (500 mg twice daily, N = 14) or niacin (500 mg twice daily, N = 11). In both treatment groups total cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides were equally reduced and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was increased. Etofibrate, but not niacin, reduced Lp(a) by 26% and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 23%. The hybrid compound etofibrate produced a more effective reduction in plasma LDL cholesterol and Lp(a) levels than controlled-release niacin in type IIb dyslipidemic subjects
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