Is Nexlizet classified as a statin?
Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Dec 14, 2020.
No, Nexlizet is not a statin medicine, but is used in conjunction with a statin, diet and exercise to lower your cholesterol levels. Nexlizet contains two medicines, bempedoic acid and ezetimibe, but these drugs act in different ways to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Bempedoic acid lowers the amount of cholesterol made by the liver and ezetimibe lowers the amount of cholesterol absorbed from the intestines.
Does Nexlizet lower bad cholesterol?
Yes, once-daily Nexlizet is approved to be used with diet and maximally tolerated statin therapy for the treatment of adults:
- with an inherited condition that causes high levels of “bad” cholesterol called low density lipoprotein (LDL). This condition, called heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, can cause heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke at an early age if not treated.
- with known heart disease who need additional lowering of “bad” cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. This type of heart disease is known as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and can lead to a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in your arteries (also known as plaque). This build-up can restrict blood flow and oxygen delivery to your tissues.
What class of drug is Nexlizet?
- Nexletol (bempedoic acid) is classified as an oral adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase (ACL) inhibitor and blocks cholesterol synthesis in the liver.
- Zetia (ezetimibe) is classified as a cholesterol absorption inhibitor and helps to prevent cholesterol absorption from the intestines.
How well does Nexlizet work?
In 12-week long studies conducted by the manufacturer, 301 patients were evaluated who had known heart disease or an inherited condition that causes high levels of bad cholesterol.
Researchers found that Nexlizet lowered LDL cholesterol by an average of 38% when compared to placebo (sugar pill) treatment when added on to a maximum statin dose that patients were tolerating. This effect was found to be statistically significant, meaning it did not occur just by chance.
Studies have not proven if Nexlizet can decrease problems related to high cholesterol, such as heart attacks or stroke.
Nexlizet is normally taken as one tablet once every day, with or without food. Your doctor will check your blood cholesterol and LDL levels about 8 to 12 weeks after you start treatment.
What side effects can occur with Nexlizet?
Common or serious side effects include:
- upper respiratory tract infection
- muscle spasms
- elevated uric acid levels (which can cause gout)
- back pain
- tendon problems, tendon rupture
- joint pain
- stomach pain
- pain in your extremities like your arms or legs
- increased liver enzymes which may signal problems with the liver
These effects were reported in at least 2% (2 or more out of every 100) of patients in studies.
If you experience tendon problems with Nexlizet, stop taking this drug right away and get immediate medical help. Signs or symptoms of a tendon problem might include:
- you hear or feel a snap or pop in a tendon area
- you have bruising right after an injury in a tendon area
- you are unable to move the affected area or put weight on the affected area.
These are not all the possible side effects of Nexlizet. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Nexlizet is not a statin medicine, but is used in with a statin drug, diet and exercise to lower your high cholesterol levels.
- Nexlizet contains two medicines, bempedoic acid and ezetimibe, but these drugs act in different ways to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
- Bempedoic acid lowers the amount of cholesterol made by the liver and ezetimibe lowers the amount of cholesterol absorbed from the intestines.
This is not all the information you need to know about Nexlizet for safe and effective use. Review the full Nexlizet information here, and discuss this and any questions you have with your doctor or other healthcare provider.
- Nexlizet (bempedoic acid and ezetimibe) product information. Esperion Therapeutics. Ann Arbor, MI. Revised 2/2020. https://pi.esperion.com/nexlizet/nexlizet-pi.pdf
Related Medical Questions
- Can ezetimibe cause weight gain or loss?
- Is Zetia better than a statin?
- What happens if you stop taking ezetimibe?
- Does Zetia affect blood pressure?
- Does ezetimibe lower triglycerides?
- When is the best time to take ezetimibe?
- When should you take ezetimibe?