Sunday, January 22, 2006

Drugs work together to fight plaque

Mice were fed a diet to raise cholesterol. They were then treated with the calcium antagonist, amlodipine (Norvasc), atorvastatin (Lipitor- a cholesterol-lowering drug), or both.

After 31 weeks, atherosclerosis in the aorta was quantified. Treatment with amlodipine resulted in a 43% reduction of lesion area as compared with the untreated group. Treatment with atorvastatin resulted in an 80% reduction of lesion area as compared with the untreated group. Combined treatment with amlodipine and atorvastatin decreased the lesion area by 93%, significantly more than either treatment alone.

Researchers concluded that atorvastatin had a strong anti-atherosclerotic effect, whereas co-treatment with amlodipine enhanced this effect significantly.

This synergistic effect is good news for those treated for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

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