Praluent (alirocumab) is an expensive injectable medication used to treat high cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. It may be a good option for people who have tried a statin medication but are still struggling to lower their cholesterol.
Praluent (alirocumab) is a PCSK9 inhibitor that's a monoclonal antibody. It works by limiting the actions of a protein called PCSK9. By blocking the PCSK9 protein in your body, your liver cells are able to remove excess cholesterol. As a result, this lowers the total amount of "bad" LDL cholesterol in your blood.
The recommended starting dose is 75 mg once every 2 weeks given subcutaneously (under the skin) in the stomach, thigh, or upper arm. For people who prefer less frequent dosing, you can take 300 mg once every 4 weeks (monthly) in the stomach, thigh, or upper arm.
Is Praluent (alirocumab) the same as Repatha (evolocumab)?
Praluent (alirocumab) and Repatha (evolocumab) are very similar medications. Both are injectable monoclonal antibody medications that are designed to lower cholesterol and prevent the risk of heart attack and stroke. Both drugs are classified as PCSK9 inhibitors, which work by blocking the PCSK9 protein to help drive the liver's ability to get rid of excess cholesterol from the blood.
Is Praluent (alirocumab) a statin?
Can Praluent (alirocumab) be taken without a statin?
Does Praluent (alirocumab) prevent heart attacks?
Where do you inject Praluent (alirocumab)?
Works well to lower bad cholesterol in people with heart problems due to plaque in their arteries or people who have genetic disorders that cause high cholesterol
Can help lower the risk of heart attack or stroke
Only needs to be used either every 2 weeks or once a month
May help lower your cholesterol levels if you haven't had success lowering your cholesterol with other medications
May be good for people who have side effects from statins
Available as an easy-to-use pre-filled pen (autoinjector) or pre-filled syringe
Only available as an injection
Might be hard to get from every pharmacy; not all pharmacies carry it
Compared to statins, long-term side effects aren't fully known
Must be kept in the refrigerator
Can be pretty expensive
Praluent (alirocumab) is injected into the fatty part of the skin on top of your thigh, belly area, or upper arm.
Continue to take your other heart medications (like statins) while using Praluent (alirocumab), unless your provider tells you otherwise.
Store Praluent (alirocumab) in the refrigerator, but let it come to room temperature for at least 30 to 40 minutes before using it. This will make the injection feel more comfortable.
To give the 300 mg dose, give two 150 mg injections at the same time at 2 different injection sites.
You should change where you inject each time you use the medication to avoid scarring.
Make sure to look at the medication closely before using it. If the solution has changed color or has particles in it, you shouldn't use it.
If you have missed your dose and aren't sure how to restart it, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding while using this medication.
With any medication, there are risks and benefits. Even if the medication is working, you may experience some unwanted side effects.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
The following side effects may get better over time as your body gets used to the medication. Let your doctor know immediately if you continue to experience these symptoms or if they worsen over time.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible: Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
Praluent (alirocumab) can cause some serious health issues. This risk may be even higher for certain groups. If this worries you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other options
Praluent (alirocumab) can cause serious allergic reactions. If you notice a rash, hives, swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, or have trouble breathing after injecting Praluent (alirocumab), stop using it and get medical help right away.
There is currently no generic for Praluent (alirocumab), so it can be expensive, even with insurance. GoodRx coupons, copay cards and patient assistance programs may help lower the cost.
Pricing based on most commonly-filled versions: 1 cartons (2 pens) of Praluent 75mg/ml
There are a number of medications that your doctor can prescribe in place of Praluent (alirocumab). Compare a few possible alternatives below.
For years, statins have been the drug of choice when it comes to treating high cholesterol, and that remains the case today. That means they’re usually the first medication providers will consider when recommending a cholesterol-lowering treatment. But a small percentage of people don’t do well with statins, meaning the drugs just aren’t enough, or ...
Every year, insurance plans update the list of drugs that they cover, also known as their formulary. That means that some drugs covered this year won’t be covered next year. (In fact, more and more drugs are excluded from formularies each year.) And drugs that are new to the market might be covered soon. If ...
In July 2015, Praluent (alirocumab) was approved by the FDA as the first drug in a new class known as PCSK9 inhibitors. It was joined by Repatha (evolocumab), which received approval on August 27, 2015. These new injectable medications are the first approvals in a long time that may be as effective as statins—or better—at lowering cholesterol. For now, Praluent is ...
Update August 2015: Praluent (alirocumab) and Repatha (evolocumab) have both been approved by the FDA. See more information here. If you have high cholesterol you likely take a statin medication (atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), Crestor) to help you manage it. Statins have been the mainstay of treatment for high cholesterol since their initial approval in the late 1980s—and recent ...