Praluent : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Praluent (Alirocumab injection) is used along with diet, alone or in combination with other cholesterol-lowering medications (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors [statins] or ezetimibe [Zetia, in Liptruzet, in Vytorin] ), in adults who have Familial heterozygous hypercholesterolaemia (an inherited disease in which cholesterol cannot be removed from the body normally) to reduce the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) in the blood. Praluent is also used in adults with cardiovascular disease to reduce the risk of severe or life-threatening stroke, heart attack, or chest pain. Praluent is in a class of medications called proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor monoclonal antibodies. It works by blocking the production of LDL cholesterol in the body, thus reducing the amount of cholesterol that can accumulate on the walls of the arteries.
The buildup of cholesterol along the walls of your arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and therefore the supply of oxygen to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body.
How should this medicine be used?
Praluent (Alirocumab injection) comes as a solution (liquid) in a pre-filled syringe and a pre-filled dosing pen to inject subcutaneously (just under the skin) once every 2 to 4 weeks. Use Praluent at around the same time every 2 to 4 weeks. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Use Praluent exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of this medicine or use it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.
After 4 to 8 weeks of therapy, your doctor may increase your dose depending on your response to this medicine.
Praluent helps control cholesterol levels, but it does not cure these conditions. Keep using Praluent even if you feel fine. Do not stop using Praluent without talking to your doctor.
Praluent comes in pre-filled dosing pens and pre-filled syringes that contain enough medicine for one dose. If your doctor tells you that you need to use more than one pen or syringe for your dose, use the pens or syringes one after the other at different injection sites. Injecting the medicine can take up to 20 seconds. Always inject Praluent into your own dosing pen or pre-filled syringe; never mix it with any other medicine. Dispose of used needles, syringes, and devices in a puncture-resistant container; never reuse a pre-filled pen or syringe. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to dispose of the puncture resistant container.
You can inject Praluent into your thigh, upper arms, or stomach area, except for the 2-inch area around your belly button (belly button) and near your waist. Use a different site for each injection. Do not inject into an area where the skin is sore, red, bruised, swollen, sunburned, hard, hot, infected, or injured in any way or in areas with visible veins, scars, rashes, or stretch marks.
Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for use that come with the medicine. These instructions describe how to inject an injection dose of Praluent. Be sure to ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions about how to inject this medicine.
Remove the pre-filled syringe or pre-filled dosing pen from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature for about 30 to 40 minutes before using it. Do not put the pre-filled syringe or pre-filled dosing pen back in the refrigerator after they have warmed to room temperature.
Before using Praluent, look closely at the solution in the pre-filled syringe or pen. The drug should be clear to pale yellow and free of floating particles. Do not shake the pre-filled syringe or the pre-filled dosing pen that contains the Praluent.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using Praluent,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Praluent, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Praluent. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any medical conditions.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using Praluent, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Follow a diet low in fat and cholesterol. Be sure to follow all of the diet and exercise recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. You can also visit the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) website for additional dietary information at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you inject Praluent every 2 weeks, inject the missed dose of Praluent as soon as you remember if it is within 7 days of the missed dose and resume your original schedule. However, if it has been more than 7 days since the missed dose, skip this dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose.
If you inject Praluent every 4 weeks, inject the missed dose of Praluent as soon as you remember if it is within 7 days of the missed dose and resume your original schedule. If it has been more than 7 days since the missed dose, inject a dose and start a new 4-week program based on this date.
Do not inject a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. Call your doctor if you miss a dose and have questions about what to do.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Praluent may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- redness, itching, swelling, pain, or tenderness at the injection site
- flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, chills
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using Praluent and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes
Praluent may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store it in the refrigerator, but do not freeze it. Praluent can also be kept at room temperature up to 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in the original box for up to 30 days. After 30 days, the Praluent must be discarded. Keep Praluent protected from light in the original box.
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your body’s response to Praluent.
Don’t let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.