Praluent (generic name: alirocumab) is approved for the treatment of a genetic form of high cholesterol passed down through families (heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia), and for patients with atherosclerotic heart disease (such as heart attacks or strokes) who require additional lowering of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Praluent works by inactivating a protein in the liver called proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9
). PCSK9 blocks the receptors that transport LDL into the liver for metabolism (break down). Without these receptors, more LDL (bad cholesterol) remains in the blood. So, by blocking PCSK9, more receptors are available to capture the bad LDL cholesterol for breakdown and removal from the blood.
Lowering the LDL in the blood is better for the heart and can help to reduce the incidence of severe heart disease.