Concomitant use of policosanol and beta-blockers in older patients

Castaño, G.; Mas, R.; Gámez, R.; Fernández, J.; Illnait, J.; Fernández, L.; Mendoza, S.; Mesa, M.; Gutiérrez, J.A.; López, E.

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research 24(2-3): 65-77


ISSN/ISBN: 0251-1649
PMID: 15689053
Document Number: 8586
Policosanol is a cholesterol-lowering drug with concomitant antiplatelet effects. It is safe and well tolerated, even in populations with high consumption of concomitant drugs. These data suggest that adverse events (AE) due to drug-to-drug interactions (DDI) with policosanol are not relevant. Experimental data indicate that potential DDI between policosanol and drugs metabolized through the cytochrome P450 hepatic system are not expected, but pharmacodynamic DDI cannot be excluded. Several clinical studies have shown that policosanol decreased arterial pressure compared with placebo, and a pharmacological interaction with beta-blockers was experimentally proven. Therefore, clinical DDI between policosanol and beta-blockers can be expected. This study investigated whether policosanol reinforces the antihypertensive effects of beta-blockers and/or whether this combination impairs some safety indicators or induces specific AE in older patients. After 5 weeks on a diet-only baseline period, 205 older hypercholesterolemic patients taking beta-blockers were randomized to policosanol 5 mg/day or placebo for 3 years. After 1 year on therapy, policosanol significantly reduced (p < 0.00001 versus placebo) low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (20.9%), total cholesterol (TC) (19.3%) and triglycerides (TG) (25.7%), whereas it increased (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001 versus placebo) high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (4.1%). Treatment effects did not to wear off during the 3-year follow-up. At study completion, policosanol lowered (p < 0.00001 versus placebo) LDL-C (34.3%), TC (23.2%) and TG (21.2%) and raised (p < 0.00001 versus placebo) HDL-C (12.3%). Thirty-one patients (15.1%) discontinued the study, 22 in the placebo group (20.6%) and nine in the policosanol group (9.2%). Of these, 20 patients (16 in the placebo group and four in the policosanol group) withdrew from the study due to AE. The frequency of serious adverse events (SAE), mostly vascular, in policosanol patients (3/98, 3.1%) was lower than in the placebo group (15/107, 14.0%). No impairment of safety indicators was observed. Nevertheless, reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were observed in policosanol patients compared with those in the placebo group. The frequency of policosanol patients reporting mild or moderate AE (18/98, 18.4%) was also lower than in the placebo group (30/107, 28.0%). In conclusion, policosanol was well tolerated in elderly patients taking beta-block- ers and did not increase AE. Additional reduction of blood pressure and a lower frequency of SAE were observed in policosanol patients compared with those taking placebo. The cholesterol-lowering efficacy of policosanol was that expected. These results provide support that policosanol therapy added to hypercholesterolemic elderly individuals taking beta-blockers could provide additional benefits in lowering blood pressure; SAE were not more frequent in the policosanol group than in the placebo group and there was no increase in AE.

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Concomitant use of policosanol and beta-blockers in older patients