Merck & Co. is the maker of the cholesterol drug, Tredaptive.  Tredaptive is not approved in the United States, but is sold in about 40 countries, including Europe.  Merck & Co. recently conducted a study on Tredaptive and the results from the initial finding were enough to suspend the sale of their cholesterol drug, which “posted $13 million in sales during the first three quarters of 2012.”  According to Merck & Co., it made its decision to suspend the drug “based in part on a European Medicine Agency committee recommendation.”  Doctors are urged to stop prescribing Tredaptive to new patients.

Initial Findings From the Study

  • “Adding Tredaptive to traditional statin therapy failed to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and related problems.”
  • Patients taking the pill “were more likely to suffer some serious, non-fatal adverse events that fall into several broad categories: blood and lymphatic, gastrointestinal, infections, metabolism, musculoskeletal, respiratory and skin.”
  • Researchers are still analyzing the adverse events.

What are Statins?

Statins are a class of drugs that help lower elevated Cholesterol levels by reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) while slightly raising the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.

What is Tredaptive?

According to various sources, Tredaptive is a pill made up of niacin and laropiprant.  Niacin helps boost good cholesterol, and laropiprant helps reduce the facial flushing caused by niacin.

If you or a loved one is taking Tredaptive, consult with a medical professional before you stop taking the drug.