This Cholesterol-Lowering Drug May Help Individuals Who Do Not Tolerate Statins

The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has approved the cholesterol-lowering drug bempedoic acid, the use of which reduces the risk of cardiac adverse events.

Statin therapy – the gold standard in treating excessive ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, may impose severe side effects in a few. A new study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology unraveled the benefits of bempedoic acid in patients who cannot tolerate statins. 

The lead author, Dr. Steven E. Nissen, stated that 7-29% of patients experience adverse effects after statin therapy; the majority report muscular pain. Bempedoic acid use is not associated with muscular side effects and is activated only when it enters the biliary system. 

Although this drug reduces the risk of heart attacks (by 23%) and chances of undergoing major cardiovascular procedures like cardiac revascularization (by 19%), there is a mild increased risk of gout and gallbladder stones with its use. Bempedoic acid can also be used as an adjunct to statin therapy.

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