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Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed counties. It is estimated that 60 million Americans have LDL-C levels > 160 mg/dl. Only about 1/3 of these patients meet treated LDL cholesterol goals of < 70 mg/dl indicating a need for greater control. High dose statins have been the mainstay in treatment of dyslipidemia, however, up to 20% of patients are statin intolerant indicating a need for secondary treatment strategies. This lead to the development of monoclonal antibodies to proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors. PCSK9 inhibitors result in decreased destruction of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) which leads to an increase in the transport of LDL-C to its destruction effectively reducing LDL-C levels in the blood. The purpose of this study is to analyze the literature available on the efficacy and safety of new PCSK9 inhibitors. The results of this literature review indicated that PCSK9 inhibitors effectively lowered LDL-C by an average of approximately 50%. The evidence reviewed by this analysis indicate that 70% of patients treated with PCSK9 inhibitors met LDL-C goals. The findings also indicate that the side effects associated with this new class of medications are comparable to current side effects seen with traditional cholesterol lowering agents. The largest side effect seen in up to 10% of patients were injection site reactions and did not require discontinuation of the medication. The results of this analysis indicate that PCSK9 inhibitors may be of benefit in patients who are statin intolerant, do not meet LDL-C goals on traditional statin therapy or have familial hypercholesterolemia. Education in use of injectables, cost and insurance coverage and dosing schedule are likely to be areas of continued research and may affect use of this new class of cholesterol lowering agents.


Physician Assistant Studies

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Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

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Anticholesteremic Agents -- therapeutic use; Hypercholesterolemia -- drug therapy; Proprotein Convertases -- antagonists & inhibitors


Cardiovascular Diseases | Medical Molecular Biology

PCSK9 Inhibitors: A Review of the Efficacy, Safety and Current Literature Recommendations