Pfizer AG

Lipitor More Effective Than Simvastatin in Cutting Risk of Additional Heart Attacks in Patients Who Had a Recent Heart Attack, New Data Suggests

    New York (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Heart Disease Patients who Were at a Very High Risk for Having a Second Heart Attack and Took Lipitor 80mg Had a 46 Percent Reduction in the Risk of Experiencing Additional Heart Attacks Compared With Patients Taking Simvastatin

    - Investigator: 'These data suggest the benefit of intensive treatment with Lipitor 80mg in very high-risk heart attack patients.'

    Patients who had a recent heart attack and took Pfizer's Lipitor(R) (atorvastatin calcium) 80mg dose experienced significantly fewer heart attacks than patients taking simvastatin 20-40mg dose, according to results of a new analysis presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology in Barcelona, Spain.

    "Patients who have experienced a recent heart attack are at greater risk for experiencing life-threatening, recurrent events," said Dr. Terje Pedersen, head of the Centre for Preventive Medicine at Ulleval University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, and the lead investigator for IDEAL. "These data suggest the benefit of intensive treatment with Lipitor 80mg in very high-risk heart attack patients. Lipitor 80mg was also well-tolerated in these patients."

    Patients who took Lipitor 80mg dose had a 46 percent reduction in the risk of experiencing another heart attack, and a 34 percent reduction in the risk of experiencing major coronary events, which included heart attack, cardiac death and cardiac arrest, compared with patients who took simvastatin 20-40mg dose. Lipitor 80mg also significantly reduced the risk of death, stroke, unstable angina and revascularization combined by 18 percent compared to simvastatin 20-40mg. The safety profiles were similar between the two groups.

    This analysis was based on the IDEAL (Incremental Decrease in Endpoints Through Aggressive Lipid Lowering) trial and was designed and conducted after the trial ended. It represents the longest follow-up of patients with a recent heart attack on statin therapy.

    In IDEAL, 8,888 patients with coronary heart disease and moderately elevated cholesterol levels were randomized to either Lipitor 80mg or simvastatin 20-40mg and followed for an average of 4.8 years. These new findings are from an analysis of the 999 patients in IDEAL who experienced a heart attack less than two months prior to entering the study.

    "The often debilitating effects of a heart attack can place a tremendous physical and emotional strain on patients and their families," said Dr. Peter Ganz, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School. "These findings provide new and important information about the potential benefit of intensive treatment with Lipitor in the management of the risk of recurrent, potentially life-threatening cardiac events."

    Worldwide, heart disease is responsible for seven million deaths annually. It is the single largest killer of Americans, causing one out of every five deaths. An estimated 865,000 people suffer a new or recurrent heart attack each year, according to data from the American Heart Association.

    The economic impact of heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. alone totals nearly US$403 billion in medical care and lost productivity annually. On an individual level, heart attacks and strokes are often devastating experiences for the patient and his or her family. Preventing a heart attack means avoiding hospitalization, a long recovery period and weeks or months of lost work time associated with disability.

    "Lipitor is the only statin to show a significant benefit in these very high risk heart disease patients, and has demonstrated greater benefits than both simvastatin and pravastatin in clinical trials studying these patients," said Dr. Joseph Feczko, Pfizer's chief medical officer. "These findings add to the wealth of clinical data that support the impressive efficacy and safety profile of Lipitor across the dose range."

    Since the introduction of Lipitor more than nine years ago, its safety and effectiveness have been supported through an extensive clinical trial program, Atorvastatin Landmarks, with more than 400 ongoing and completed trials involving more than 80,000 patients. Lipitor is the most prescribed cholesterol-lowering therapy in the world, with 121 million patient years of experience.

    IDEAL was an investigator-led trial sponsored by Pfizer.

    Important Information

    Lipitor is a prescription drug. It is used in patients with multiple risk factors for heart disease, such as family history, high blood pressure, age, low HDL ("good" cholesterol), or smoking to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. When diet and exercise alone are not enough, Lipitor is used along with a low-fat diet and exercise to lower cholesterol.

    Lipitor is also used in patients with type 2 diabetes and at least one other risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, smoking or complications of diabetes, including eye disease and protein in urine, to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Lipitor is not for everyone. It is not for those with liver problems. And it is not for women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant.

    If you take Lipitor, tell your doctor if you feel any new muscle pain or weakness. This could be a sign of rare but serious muscle side effects. Tell your doctor about all medications you take. This may help avoid serious drug interactions. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver function before and during treatment and may adjust your dose. The most common side effects are gas, constipation, stomach pain and heartburn. They tend to be mild and often go away.

    For more product information visit or call +1-888-LIPITOR.

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