Harvard Men's Health Watch

The new cholesterol-lowering drugs

Persistently high "bad" LDL cholesterol leads to heart attacks and strokes. New drugs can help, but they are not appropriate for all men.
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These potent medications are for hard-to-manage cases of high cholesterol—not replacements for the tried-and-true statins.

A new type of medication for lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol has won FDA approval. The new drugs, alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha), can slash LDL up to 60% on top of reductions from diet and the currently available medications—chiefly statins. They work differently from statins, so the two classes of drugs can be combined. (See "Three tools for lowering LDL cholesterol" below.)

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