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Fluvastatin Cuts Occurrence of Coronary Spasm

Statin drug added to calcium-channel blockers an improvement over calcium-channel blockers alone

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Adding daily fluvastatin to conventional calcium-channel blocker therapy to treat coronary spasm reduced the occurrence of spasm compared to using conventional therapy only, according to research published in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Hirofumi Yasue, M.D., of the Kumamoto Aging Research Institute in Kumamoto, Japan, and colleagues analyzed data from 64 patients with coronary spasm in response to intracoronary injection of acetylcholine. Patients were randomized to receive conventional calcium-channel blocker (slow-release diltiazem or nifedipine) or this approach plus 30 milligrams of fluvastatin daily. After six months, the researchers reassessed coronary spasm after a repeat injection of acetylcholine.

The number of patients with induced coronary spasm was significantly reduced in the fluvastatin group compared with the conventional therapy group (51.6 percent versus 21.2 percent), the researchers report.

"This study…provides a rationale for the use of a statin for the treatment of coronary spasm. It is not yet known whether these combination therapies will prove to be cost-effective and safe for long-term use in patients with coronary spasm," the authors write. "We used fluvastatin because the risk for rhabdomyolysis and the possible drug interaction with a calcium channel blocker were reported to be lowest and the possible vascular effect was highest among the statins clinically available at the time of initiating this study. It thus remains to be determined whether statins other than fluvastatin may have the similar effects on coronary spasm."

Yasue has received a lecture honorarium from Novartis.

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