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New Study Casts Doubt on Zetia and Other Cholesterol Drugs

A recently released study casts doubt on the efficacy of ezetimibe, the active ingredient in Zetia and Vytorin, two major anti-cholesterol medications.

According to the study’s authors, ezetimibe was less effective at reducing artery plaque than the older, generic drug niacin. In the study, patients given niacin showed a 2% reduction in artery plaque, while patients treated with ezetimibe did not. During the study, nine patients given ezetimibe suffered “major cardiac events” such as heart attack, compared to only two patients in the niacin group.

Ezetimibe is made by Merck Research Laboratories and accounts for billions of dollars in sales worldwide.

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