Statin intolerance means a person cannot tolerate or handle certain medications called statins, commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. Some individuals may experience side effects such as muscle pain, weakness, or digestive problems when taking statins. This can make it difficult for them to continue taking the medication as prescribed.
Statin intolerance is essential to address because high cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease. Doctors may explore alternative treatments or adjust the dosage to minimize side effects. Individuals with statin intolerance must communicate openly with their healthcare providers to find the best solution for their cholesterol management.
Scientists tested a new medication called bempedoic acid on patients who could not take statins because of side effects. Bempedoic acid helps lower a type of cholesterol called LDL. The study was done with patients who had or were at high risk for heart problems. Half of the patients received bempedoic acid, and the other half received a placebo. The scientists wanted to see if bempedoic acid could help prevent heart attacks, strokes, or other heart problems.
Patients who took bempedoic acid had a lower risk of major heart problems than those who took the placebo. The patients who took the medicine had fewer heart-related events like heart attacks, strokes, or the need for heart surgery. However, it is essential to note that bempedoic acid did not affect the risk of dying from heart problems or any cause.
The patients' cholesterol levels were also measured. Before the study, both groups had similar cholesterol levels. But after six months, the patients who took bempedoic acid significantly reduced their cholesterol levels more than those who took the placebo. This means that bempedoic acid was effective at lowering LDL cholesterol.
While bempedoic acid showed positive effects, there were some side effects to consider. The patients who took bempedoic acid had a slightly higher risk of developing gout and cholelithiasis, forming gallstones. There were also slight increases in specific blood test results that showed changes in kidney and liver function. These side effects are essential to be aware of, but the trial found they are generally manageable and not severe.
Bempedoic acid is a promising alternative for patients who can't take statins due to side effects. It effectively lowered LDL cholesterol and reduced the risk of significant heart problems. However, working closely with doctors and healthcare providers is crucial to monitor potential side effects and determine the best treatment approach for each individual. Further research and evaluation will help to confirm the long-term benefits and safety of bempedoic acid.