Effects of policosanol in patients with ischemic stroke

This blog has chronicled the lipid-lowering effects of policosanol, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 20% to 30%. Its mechanism of action differs from statins. However, it’s close enough that for safety, I would be cautious taking policosanol and a statin at the same time. One-A-Day Cholesterol Plus contains policosanol.

Now, a new study reports that policosanol has a positive effect on recovery in patients with ischemic stroke. This might be an overstatement, but let’s take a closer look.

  • 50 patients took policosanol 20 mg/day over 5 years following ischemic stroke
  • They also took antiplatelet drugs and vitamins
  • Patients improved throughout this time
  • One patient suffered a new stroke
  • Two suffered more than one transient ischemic attack
  • Policosanol lowered cholesterol levels, and this response correlated with neurological improvement

Unfortunately, it’s not possible in this study to separate the beneficial effects of the antiplatelet drug (aspirin) from any effect by policosanol.

OK, let’s say it one time in unison. “More studies are needed to assess the usefulness of policosanol in stroke management.”

9/29/06 22:59 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.