Generic Name: alirocumab (al-i-ROK-ue-mab)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 20, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antihyperlipidemic
Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody
Uses for alirocumab
Alirocumab injection is used together with a proper diet and other medicines (eg, ezetimibe, statin medicine) to treat adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, who need additional lowering of their bad cholesterol (LDL). It is also used to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and unstable angina (chest pain) requiring hospitalization in adults with existing heart or blood vessel disease. Alirocumab is a PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9) inhibitor.
Alirocumab is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using alirocumab
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For alirocumab, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to alirocumab or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of alirocumab injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alirocumab injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of alirocumab than younger adults.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper use of alirocumab
Alirocumab is given as a shot under your skin, usually in the abdomen or stomach, thighs, or upper arms.
Alirocumab may sometimes be given at home to patients who do not need to be in the hospital. If you are using alirocumab at home, your doctor will teach you how to prepare and inject the medicine. Be sure that you understand exactly how the medicine is prepared and injected.
Alirocumab should come with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Alirocumab comes in 2 forms: single-dose prefilled pen (autoinjector) and single-dose prefilled syringe. Your doctor will prescribe the type and dose that is right for you.
You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. This will help prevent skin problems from the injections.
Do not inject other medicines together with alirocumab injection at the same injection site.
Do not inject on skin areas that have cuts, scrapes, infection, scars, sunburns, or tattoos.
Allow the medicine to warm to room temperature for at least 30 to 40 minutes before using it. Do not warm it in any other way. Do not shake the medicine.
Use each autoinjector pen or syringe only one time. Do not save an open pen or syringe. If the medicine in the pen or syringe has changed color, or if you see particles in it, do not use it.
In addition to alirocumab, your doctor may change your diet to one that is low in fat, sugar, and cholesterol. Carefully follow your doctor's order about any special diet.
The dose of alirocumab will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of alirocumab. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For injection dosage form:
- For high cholesterol and prevention of heart or blood vessel problems:
- Every 2-week dose: 75 milligrams (mg) injected under your skin once every 2 weeks. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 150 mg injected under your skin once every 2 weeks.
- Every 4-week dose: 300 mg injected under your skin once every 4 weeks, given as two 150 mg injections at two different sites. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 150 mg injected under your skin once every 2 weeks.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For high cholesterol and prevention of heart or blood vessel problems:
Alirocumab needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
Every 2-week dose: If you missed a dose, use alirocumab within 7 days from the missed dose. Then, go back to your original schedule. If the missed dose is not given within 7 days, wait until your next scheduled dose to re-start alirocumab. If you are not sure when to re-start alirocumab, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Every 4-week dose: If you missed a dose, use alirocumab within 7 days from the missed dose. Then, go back to your original schedule. If the missed dose is not given within 7 days, use alirocumab right away and re-start alirocumab based on this date. If you are not sure when to re-start alirocumab, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
You may also store alirocumab in its original carton at room temperature for up to 30 days. Do not expose to extreme heat. After removing alirocumab from the refrigerator, use it within 30 days. Throw away any unused medicine after 30 days.
Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container where the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
Precautions while using alirocumab
It is very important that your doctor check your progress within 4 to 8 weeks of using alirocumab. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly to lower your cholesterol levels and to decide if you should continue to use it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Serious allergic reactions may occur while you are using alirocumab. Tell your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: a rash, itching skin, difficulty with breathing or swallowing, hives, nausea, reddening of the skin, especially around the ears, swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Alirocumab side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Chest pain
- difficulty with breathing or swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, skin rash
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
- swelling of eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Cough producing mucus
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- loss of appetite
- muscle aches, cramps, stiffness, or pains
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- trouble sleeping
- Bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- bone pain
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty with moving
- frequent urge to urinate
- lower back or side pain
- muscle spasms
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Praluent vs Repatha: What's the difference?
- Does Praluent (alirocumab) lower triglycerides?
- How do you administer a Praluent (alirocumab) injection?
- How does Praluent work?
More about alirocumab
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- En Español
- 125 Reviews
- Drug class: PCSK9 inhibitors
Other brands: Praluent