.unable to take statins Statins are the most common treatment for high cholesterol, but millions of people who can’t or won’t take them due to side effects may have another option. New pill cuts cholesterol and prevents heart attacks.
Researchers reported on Saturday that a different kind of cholesterol-lowering medication known as Nexletol reduced the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems in individuals who were unable to tolerate statins in a significant study.
The drug, which is referred to chemically as bempedoic acid, is already prescribed by doctors to be taken with a statin to assist certain high-risk patients in further lowering their cholesterol levels. The new study tested Nexletol without statins, providing the first evidence that it also lowers the risk of health problems caused by cholesterol.
Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, who was in charge of the study, said that statins are still “the cornerstone of cholesterol-lowering therapies.”
However, he stated that patients who are unable to take these tested medications “are very needy patients, they’re extremely difficult to treat.” “Will have a huge impact on public health” is the option.
The “bad” cholesterol known as LDL can clog arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. The primary means of lowering LDL cholesterol, preventing heart disease, or treating those who already have it, are statin medications like Lipitor and Crestor, as well as their less expensive generic counterparts. They function by preventing some cholesterol production in the liver.
However, statins can cause severe muscle pain in some individuals. According to some estimates, 10% of people who would otherwise be eligible for the pills either cannot or will not take them, although the exact frequency of this occurs is unknown. They only have a few choices, like expensive shots to lower cholesterol and another kind of pill called Zetia.
Unlike statins, nexletol does not have the muscle side effect and blocks cholesterol production in the liver.
Nearly 14,000 people who couldn’t take more than a very low dose of a statin were tracked over the course of the new five-year study. Half took Nexletol every day, and half took a placebo.
The main conclusion: Patients taking Nexletol had a 13 percent lower risk of a group of major cardiac issues. After that, the various conditions were broken down by researchers, and the most significant effect was a 23% lower risk of a heart attack. Additionally, the drug reduced artery unclogging procedures by 19%. There was no difference in the number of deaths, which the researchers were unable to explain but suggested might take longer to detect.
The data were presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology on Saturday and were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Esperion Therapeutics, which makes Nexletol, provided funding for the study.
Dr. John H. Alexander of Duke University, who was not involved in the study, wrote in the journal that the findings are “compelling.”
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