Injectable Shows Promise in Controlling Cholesterol for Up to Six Months

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Injectable medication is a next-level PCSK9 inhibitor
Injectable medication is a next-level PCSK9 inhibitor

HealthDay News — A new injectable medication called inclisiran cuts low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by half or more, and the effect could last for four to six months, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, held from November 12 to 16 in New Orleans.

Inclisiran is a next-level PCSK9 inhibitor, which works on a genetic level to prevent cells from producing PCSK9, study presenter Kausik Ray, MD, of Imperial College London, told HealthDay. The inclisiran clinical trial involved 501 patients who were assigned to either a control group or one of four groups that received different doses of the drug.

One dose of inclisiran at 300mg or greater caused a 51% drop in LDL cholesterol that lasted at least 90 days, while two doses caused a 57% reduction that lasted up to six months, Ray reported. Based on these results, Ray and his colleagues estimate patients would only need an inclisiran injection two or three times a year to control their cholesterol.

Side effects from the medication were similar to those reported by patients taking either statins or placebos, the researchers reported. Muscle aches, headache, fatigue, back pain, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and dizziness were the most common side effects.

The study was funded by The Medicines Company, the manufacturer of inclisiran.

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