This week Praluent (alirocumab) was approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of high cholesterol. Praluent belongs to a class of medications called proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors. It is an antibody that is targeted to PCSK9. PCSK9 reduces the amount of receptors on the liver that clear LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol from the blood. By blocking PCSK9, Praluent causes an increase in these receptors, thereby increasing the amount of LDL clearance from the blood. This results in an overall reduction of LDL cholesterol levels.
The side-effects most commonly reported following treatment with Praluent include itching, swelling, pain, and bruising at the injection site. Additional reactions include nasopharyngitis, flu, or allergic reactions.
FDA Press Release “FDA approves Praluent to treat certain patients with high cholesterol” Available from: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm455883.htm Last Accessed: August 1, 2015.