Cholesterol Medications Not Statins

Cholesterol Medications Not Statins

Aside from one other drug, there haven’t been any good non-statin medications used to treat high LDL levels. Often, statin drugs like Crestor, Lipitor, and Zocor have been prescribed to lower the ‘bad’ cholesterol that clogs arteries, which, in turn, puts individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease. These treatment options have been a physician’s go-to for a decade but finally, there’s a non-statin medication to get excited about. However, like any other medication, it has its own side effects and issues.

Juxtapid for Cholesterol

Juxtapid is a new medication approved to lower cholesterol levels and for the treatment of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia who are already on statin medications. The patients approved for this drug have extreme LDL elevations and are at a high risk of early heart disease. It remains unknown whether it will be approved for all patients to treat high levels of bad cholesterol.

Juxtapid is not a statin and the first in a new class of medications on the market called microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) inhibitors. While it is the first of its kind, it does have some pretty compelling results. It reduced LDL levels of patients in a clinical trial by 40-50%.

The trial patients experienced severe side effects, though, as their bodies went through quite the detox. 28% of patients in the studies experienced nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Moreover, Juxtapid caused a bump in liver function blood tests in 34% of patients.

With that said, regular liver blood screenings are necessary throughout the course of treatment.

Juxtapid was approved by the FDA in late-2012. Presently, the drug is a tier 2 or 3 medication. Meaning it can have an extremely high co-pay but will never cost more than $20,000 for a 30-day supply. Currently, there are no patient assistance programs for the drug. Speak with your doctor about your options if you feel this medication is unaffordable.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos@decade3d

Posted on May 22, 2023