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How does Praluent work?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on April 30, 2019.

Official Answer


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.

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 heart disease to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and certain types of chest pain conditions (unstable angina) requiring hospitalization.

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