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How long should you take Repatha?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 7, 2020.

Why do you need to take Repatha (evolocumab) long term?

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

How long should you take Repatha?

  • Repatha is a medicine that is designed to be taken long term to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Repatha works while you are using Repatha so if you stop taking Repatha, and once all of the Repatha has left your body, then it will stop having its beneficial effect.
  • It is NOT the type of medicine that can fix a health issue after a short treatment course.

What does Repatha do? and why do you need to take it for a long time?

  • Repatha reduces the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
  • If you have high circulating cholesterol levels this increases formation of fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis) which increases your risk of cardiovascular events such as cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, or coronary revascularization.
  • By taking Repatha you reduce the amount of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood so it slows the formation of the fatty deposits in the arteries.
  • The accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries is a process that happens over time. If you want to prevent the slow, consistent future build-up of the fatty deposits then you need to take Repatha regularly and long term.
  • If you stop taking Repatha and once all of the Repatha has left the body the LDL-C levels will start to increase once again causing fatty deposits to accumulate in the arteries.
  • In the FOURIER clinical trial for Repatha the median length of time patients were on Repatha was 24.8 months and 5% of the participants were on it for 36 months.

Who takes Repatha?

  • People who have familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), which is a genetic disorder of lipoprotein metabolism, need lifelong management of their lipid levels to reduce their high cardiovascular disease risk, so will be on Repatha long term.
  • Patients who have established cardiovascular disease need to take Repatha long term to reduce their risk of future cardiovascular events.

Bottom line:

  • Repatha needs to be taken long term to achieve the full beneficial effect.
  • If you stop using Repatha and once all the Repatha has left the body, it will no longer be effective and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels will start to increase once again.
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