Although physicians like to think they practice evidence-based medicine, that appears to not be the case with prescribing the cardiovascular drug ezetimibe. And some critics say that use of surrogate markers to guide practice rather than clinical outcomes such as occurrence of myocardial infarction, stroke, or death has likely played a role.
Ezetimibe is an intestinal cholesterol absorption inhibitor found to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels by about 20% when given alone. It also further reduces LDL-C levels when added to statin therapy, which blocks cholesterol synthesis in the liver by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase.
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US and Canadian physicians continue to prescribe ezetimibe even after a study found giving the drug with a statin failed to reduce atherosclerosis progression compared with the statin alone.
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