Niacin Better at Lowering Cholesterol than Zetia

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

In a recent study, a prescription version of niacin, Niaspan, slowed the buildup of plaque on artery walls more than the newer cholesterol lowering drug Zetia. The study, published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, involved 363 people who had heart disease or were at high risk of heart disease. All the patients were on statins that had brought their LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dL. However, their HDL levels were below where they should have been. Approximately half of the patients were given Niaspan and the other half were given Zetia in addition to their usual statin drugs. The finding favored the use of Niaspan over Zetia, so much so, that the study was stopped four months early because the Niaspan group was doing so much better. Is Niacin right for you? Maybe...but talk to your doctor before discontinuing any cholesterol lowering drug. If you have questions regarding the use of Zetia, Niaspan or any cholesterol lowering drug, please contact your doctor or speak to your pharmacist.