天职药房 MISSION (HOUGANG) MEDICAL CLINIC

Alirocumab: What is it and What you need to Know

Read Time: 6 minute(s)

Contents

Alirocumab, also sold under the brand name Praluent, is a medication that plays a crucial role in managing high cholesterol levels. This human monoclonal antibody belongs to a novel class of anti-cholesterol drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors. As a second-line treatment for adults struggling with cholesterol control despite diet and statin treatment, alirocumab offers hope for improved health outcomes.

In this article, we will explore how alirocumab works, its potential side effects, important safety precautions, and more. Whether you’re looking for information about this unique medication or hoping to learn more about different ways to manage high cholesterol, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about alirocumab.

As always, please consult a medical professional for more information.

What is Alirocumab (Praluent)?

Alirocumab (Pralucent)

Alirocumab, also known as Praluent, is a revolutionary medication created to fight high cholesterol. It belongs to a group of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors and is essential for controlling cholesterol levels in individuals who have not found success with conventional methods. Here’s how it works:

  • Alirocumab targets and blocks the activity of the PCSK9 protein. This blocking action enables the liver to remove more low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol, from the bloodstream.

  • As LDL levels decrease, Praluent significantly lowers the chances of experiencing cardiovascular events associated with high cholesterol.

When dietary changes and statins are not enough, alirocumab serves as an effective second-line treatment. It’s particularly advantageous for patients with conditions like familial hypercholesterolemia or those at high risk for heart attack and stroke who need further reduction in LDL levels.

How should I take/use Alirocumab (Praluent)?

Understanding how to use alirocumab effectively is crucial for managing high cholesterol levels. This medication, also known as Praluent, belongs to a class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors and is administered through subcutaneous injection.

Administering Alirocumab

When it comes to administering alirocumab, it’s important to follow a certain process:

  • If you’re injecting this medication at home, ensure you’ve been shown the correct technique by a healthcare professional.
  • The injection site should be rotated between the thigh, abdomen or upper arm, avoiding any area that looks irritated or bruised.

Dosage Instructions

The dosage instructions for alirocumab depend on individual cholesterol levels and response to treatment. Customarily, the drug is administered once every two weeks. However, it’s essential to adhere strictly to the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Duration of Treatment

The duration of treatment with alirocumab is determined by a healthcare provider based on your cholesterol levels and overall health status. Regular check-ups are necessary to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Remember that successful treatment of high cholesterol involves more than just medication—dietary changes and regular exercise should accompany your treatment plan.

Can Alirocumab (Praluent) Be Bought over the Counter?

Alirocumab (Praluent) is a prescription-only medication and cannot be purchased over the counter. It is essential for users to understand that access to this treatment requires a healthcare provider’s authorization due to its classification among PCSK9 inhibitors designed for managing high cholesterol.

What should I do if I forget to take/use Alirocumab (Praluent)?

If you miss a dose of alirocumab:

  • Administer the injection within 7 days from the missed dose.
  • If more than 7 days have passed, skip the missed dose and proceed with the next scheduled one.

Always track your dosing schedule and maintain open communication with your healthcare provider regarding any missed doses.

What are some common side-effects of Alirocumab (Praluent)?

Some users may experience common side effects, typically mild and manageable. These include:

  • Nasopharyngitis or common cold symptoms
  • Reactions at the injection site
  • Influenza

Despite these possible discomforts, most people tolerate alirocumab quite well.

In rare instances, serious adverse reactions may occur. While not common, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience:

  • Allergic reactions such as rash, itching or swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat)
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing

Being informed about these side effects can help you manage expectations and respond appropriately in case they arise during treatment with alirocumab.

What food or medication should I avoid when I Alirocumab (Praluent)?

When adding Alirocumab to your healthcare routine, it’s important to think about your diet and any potential interactions with other medications.

  • Diet: Follow a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your meals to support your treatment with Alirocumab.

  • Medications: Let your doctor know about all the medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and supplements. Alirocumab (Praluent) may interact with other medications, which could affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects.

  • Alcohol: Talk to your healthcare provider about how much alcohol you drink. Drinking alcohol can have an impact on your cholesterol levels and may also affect how well Alirocumab works.

By staying aware of these guidelines, you can make sure that you get the most out of your treatment with Alirocumab while also taking care of your overall health and well-being.

Proper Storage and Disposal of Alirocumab (Praluent)

Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Store alirocumab in the refrigerator between 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) for best results.
  • Make sure not to freeze or expose the medication to excessive heat.
  • Always check the expiration date on the package and avoid using any expired medication.

If you have unused alirocumab that needs disposal, don’t just throw it in the regular trash. Instead, contact your local waste disposal facility or a healthcare provider for guidance on safe disposal methods. It’s recommended to use a puncture-resistant “sharps” container for discarding used needles and syringes. The goal is to prevent accidental injury and environmental pollution.

Consult Your Doctor for Personalized Guidance

When incorporating Alirocumab (Praluent) into your health regimen for managing high cholesterol, it’s essential to maintain open lines of communication with your healthcare provider. Alirocumab treatments, as part of the innovative class of PCSK9 inhibitors, should be complemented with frequent medical check-ups:

  • Regular appointments allow monitoring of cholesterol levels and assessing the effectiveness of the medication.
  • Your doctor can provide tailored advice on dosage adjustments based on your response to treatment and any side effects experienced.
  • Ongoing discussions with your healthcare professional ensure that any additional lifestyle changes or medications are safely integrated.

Continuous medical supervision enhances the beneficial impact of alirocumab, ensuring your treatment plan remains both effective and safe.

Conclusion

Alirocumab )Praluent), is a powerful medication that can help manage high cholesterol when diet and other treatments are not enough. It belongs to the PCSK9 inhibitors class and offers a new way to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

By staying informed and making the right choices, you can take control of your cholesterol levels and improve your overall health.

Read More: Alfuzosin: What is it and What you need to Know

Picture of MMC Writing Team

MMC Writing Team

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away. We hope that we can provide you with information to stay healthy.

Picture of MMC Writing Team

MMC Writing Team

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away. We hope that we can provide you with information to stay healthy.

Subscribe to our email updates
Read These Next
Learn to how to check for Appendicitis in children at home: key symptoms, home checks & when to seek urgent medical care for your child’s safety.
Learn how to identify psychosis symptoms early for better outcomes. Spot the signs, understand treatment options, and support affected individuals.
Discover 5 surprising health benefits of whole grains for weight management, digestion, and more—boost your well-being with every meal!