Alirocumab, a newly genetically-designed antibody has been found highly effective at removing bad cholesterol or LDT from the bloodstream by blocking the activity of a protein that impedes the body from naturally removing its bad cholesterols. This new cholesterol medication is injected once every two weeks into the body, contrary to existing cholesterol drugs that are administered orally.
Researchers during a meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago presented the results of a clinical study that attested to the fact that Alirocumab is much more effective for treating patients that couldn’t withstand the side-effects of Zeita – the most common statin-based bad-cholesterol lowering medication. Zetia works by preventing the absorption of LDT cholesterol in food by the intestines – because the statin component blocks cholesterol production by the liver.
But most patients are found to be intolerant of statin medications, and this is largely because they suffer side effects like body pains, muscle aches, and stiffness.
But according to Dr. Patrick Moriarty, the director of clinical pharmacology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Alirocumab has been found to outperform Zeita and other statin-based medications by far, and also because it does not induce any side effects in patients. Alirocumab was found to provide 45% LDT cholesterol decrease in patients as against the 14.6% reduced cholesterol levels recorded for Zeita.
“It’s very heartwarming to me that we have a new class of medication that is well-tolerated by this complex and difficult patient population,” says Dr. Moriarty. And he is right, because 42% patients that took the experimental drug Alirocumab reported achieving their cholesterol-lowering goals as against the 4% that took Zetia.
In a related development, Zetia when combined with statin (as in the drug Vytorin) has been found effective for reducing heart attacks and strokes by 14% among patients with clogged arteries.