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Is Repatha effective without a statin?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 19, 2023.

Official answer


Yes, Repatha is effective at reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels when taken on its own, without an additional statin.

In the 52 weeks clinical trial DESCARTES they compared placebo treatment, with Repatha on its own, Repatha with 10mg/d of atorvastatin, and Repatha with 80mg/d of atorvastatin.
The mean percentage difference between the placebo and treatment groups were

  • Repatha: LDL-C cholesterol reduced 63.8% compared to placebo
  • Repatha + Atorvastatin 10mg/d: LDL-C reduced 64.4% compared to placebo
  • Repatha + Atorvastatin 80mg/d: LDL-C reduced 57.9% compared to placebo

This clinical trial showed that compared to placebo the combination Repatha reduced LDL-C by 64.4%. The addition of atorvastatin 10mg/d only reduced the LDL-C an extra 0.6%.
The atorvastatin 80mg/d with Repatha was actually less effective at reducing LDL-C than just Repatha.

It is important to note that LDL-C in only one of the major lipids and apolipoproteins that are relevant in cardiovascular disease. Other lipids and apolipoproteins levels were also studied in this trial.
Additional medications and treatments are often taken alongside Repatha to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

It is important to take all medications as prescribed by your health care provider.

Related questions

What are statins?

  • Statins are medicines that lower LDL-C blood levels.
  • They do this by blocking an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) which decreases the amount of LDL-cholesterol made by the body and it also increases amount of LDL-cholesterol that the body breaks down.
  • The DESCARTES studied used atorvastatin as the statin compared with Repatha.
  • Other statins will have different results when taken with, and compared to, Repatha.

Click here for more information and a list of statins.


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