Pharmacological reports : PR

The effect of ezetimibe-statin combination on steroid hormone production in men with coronary artery disease and low cholesterol levels.

PMID 25712655


Aggressive statin treatment was found to slightly reduce testosterone production. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of ezetimibe-statin combination and high-dose statin therapy on testicular and adrenal cortex function in men with LDL cholesterol levels below 70 mg/dL. The study included 26 adult men with coronary artery disease. Twelve of these patients did not tolerate high-dose statin therapy and were treated with lower doses of a statin plus ezetimibe. Fourteen patients tolerating high-dose simvastatin or rosuvastatin treatment continued high-dose statin therapy throughout the study period. Plasma lipids, glucose homeostasis markers and plasma levels of testosterone, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, sex hormone-binding globulin, gonadotropins and ACTH, as well as urine free cortisol were assessed at baseline and after 16 weeks of treatment. Replacing high-dose statin therapy with ezetimibe/statin combination therapy reduced plasma levels of LH by 32% (p=0.043), as well as increased plasma levels of testosterone by 20% (p=0.038). Ezetimibe/statin combination did not induce any significant changes in plasma levels or urine excretion of the remaining hormones. At the end of the study, plasma LH levels were higher, while plasma testosterone levels were lower in patients receiving the combination therapy than in those treated only with high-dose statin. Our results indicate that ezetimibe combined with moderate statin dose exerts a less pronounced effect on testicular function in comparison with high-dose statin therapy.