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Virginia Mason is committed to the highest quality of care for all our patients. For this reason, we carefully monitor the latest medical research to help inform our clinical practice.

The results of a recent ENHANCE trial by Merck and Co. and Schering-Plough Corp., makers of Vytorin, showed that Vytorin, which combines the drugs Zocor and Zetia, was no more effective than Zocor alone. This study focused on a very specialized population of patients, and it does not impact most patients who use Vytorin.

It is too early to use the results of the study to inform any clinical decision-making, and Virginia Mason agrees with a statement from the American College of Cardiology noting, "this is not an urgent situation, and patients should never stop taking any prescribed medications without first discussing the issue with their health-care professional. Further research will be needed in this area to provide conclusive evidence about which lipid lowering strategy is preferred (statin alone vs. statin plus ezetimibe)."

Physicians in The Heart Institute at Virginia Mason have been pleased with the lab results from patients who are following current therapies, and they have no intention of altering these therapies based on the results of the ENHANCE trial.

Virginia Mason will continue to follow this study to see if further research is sufficient enough to take a different clinical approach.

If you are concerned about the recent study, below are several recommendations:

Please continue to take all your prescribed medications. Do not stop taking these medications without first discussing the issue with your physician.

Please contact your primary care physician or the physician who prescribed your medication to schedule an appointment to discuss your health concerns. If you need further assistance, the Cardiac Wellness Clinic can help in meeting your needs. You can reach the clinic by calling (206) 341-1111. All Virginia Mason physicians are very open to discussing your concerns.

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