Mevacor (lovastatin), a widely prescribed drug for treating high cholesterol, has become the first lipidlowering drug to demonstrate the slowing of the progression of atherosclerosis in patients with coronary heart disease and hypercholesterolemia, in conjunction with diet.
The new indication for Mevacor, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, is based on the results of three clinical studies showing the drug's positive effects in slowing the build-up of the plaque that clogs arteries. Mevacor has been cleared for marketing by the FDA for this new use.
More than 2.5 million patients have been prescribed Mevacor since it was introduced by Merck & Co. in 1987 as an adjunct to diet for the reduction of elevated total and LDL cholesterol levels. Mevacor should not be used by people with liver disease or possible liver problems, women who are breast feeding, pregnant women, women of childbearing age unless highly unlikely to become pregnant, or people who are allergic to any of its ingrethents. The effect of Mevacor on cardiovascular morbidity or mortality has not been established.