CROI 2013The statin medication Livalo (pitavastatin) is more effective at lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in HIV-positive adults with high cholesterol than another drug in the same class, Pravachol (pravastatin). Kowa Pharmaceuticals America Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company announced the findings of their 12-week, Phase IV, double-blind study at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta. In the study, 252 HIV-positive participants, both with and without hepatitis B or C, were randomized one-to-one to receive a daily dose of either 4 mg of Livalo or 40 mg of Pravachol. The primary end point of the study was the percentage drop in LDL cholesterol.  

After 12 weeks of therapy, those taking Livalo saw an average drop in LDL cholesterol of 31 percent, compared with a 21 percent drop in the group taking Pravachol, a difference that was statistically significant, meaning it was too great to have occurred by chance. The percentage of participants experiencing adverse events was similar between the two groups, with 61.1 percent for Livalo and 62.7 percent for Pravachol. The most common adverse events overall included diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, headache, nausea, nasal and pharynx inflammation (nasopharyngitis) and an increase in blood creatine phosphokinase. Eleven subjects (4 percent) left the study because of adverse events.

To read the Eli Lilly release, click here.