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First Non-statin Medication to Treat High Cholesterol

Jun 2, 2020 by Ameer Helles

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first non-statin oral medication for adults in almost two decades, giving patients and doctors another drug that will lower cholesterol and work to prevent heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the world.
There are some people for which statins do not effectively work or who cannot take a heavy enough dose because they have side effects such as stomach aches or muscle aches (myalgia). Even with diet, exercise, and statins, it is estimated that approximately 15 million patients in the US are unable to meet optimum cholesterol levels, according to the company.

Bempedoic acid lowers LDL cholesterol

Statins were introduced in the 1980s and are the main drug used to lower high cholesterol, and are usually the first drug prescribed along with improvements in diet and exercise.

However, they can induce muscle aches and cramps, making it difficult for certain patients to take the appropriate dosage, explained Robert Rosenson, director of cardiometabolic disorders at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. More than 10 % of people taking high-dose statins had muscle pain, according to a 2005 study.

Bempedoic acid, taken along with a statin, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by an average of 18 percent, and patients that are unable to tolerate statins showed a decrease in LDL cholesterol of 28 percent.

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