Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why not try a salad?

A clinical trial of one of the most widely used cholesterol drugs has raised serious questions both about the medicine’s effectiveness and about the behavior of the pharmaceutical companies that conducted the study, cardiologists said Monday.

Merck and Schering-Plough, which make the drug, Zetia, and a pill that contains it, Vytorin, said Monday morning that Zetia had failed to benefit patients in a two-year trial that ended in April 2006.

Listen carefully to the end of the commercial.

“Unexplained muscle pain or weakness could be a sign of a rare but serious side effect, and should be reported to a doctor right away.”

Some patients who take Zetia experience muscle pain, especially if Zetia is taken in combination with statins. Clinical studies have found that up to five percent of people taking Zetia will experience muscle pain. Some of those patients experience muscle pain as a symptom of a couple of very serious problems. Those problems are myopathy and rhabdomyolysis.

Myopathy is a disease in which muscle fibers do not function for one of a number of reasons. It is associated with muscle cramps, stiffness and spasms. Rhabdomyolysis is serious because it can cause the breakdown of muscles, which can cause acute kidney failure and can ultimately be fatal.

Now here is the fun part.

In a press release, Merck and Schering said that not only did Zetia fail to slow the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, it actually seemed to contribute to plaque formation.

Merck and Schering repeatedly missed their own deadlines for reporting the disappointing results, leading cardiologists around the world to wonder what the study would show. At the same time, millions of patients have continued taking Zetia and Vytorin.

The drug companies blamed the complexity of the data for the delay.

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Blogger Katy said...

we really do want a pill to fix
a plate overloaded with food
(a lifestyle laced with lies)

we are so disassociated with our food...

really, simply put:
you are what you eat

why are we surprised that companies built on profit seek only to build on profit?

your posts are always AWEsome

love to you, be well

12:14 AM  

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