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What should I know before taking a PCSK9 inhibitor?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Current cholesterol management guidelines state that non-statin drugs are not first-line therapy. But they can be added to a statin if cholesterol goals are not being met. PCSK9 inhibitors are considered alternatives to ezetimibe as the first drugs to add. However, they are appropriate only for people with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) or with LDL above 190 mg/dL.

Except for evolocumab in teens with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, it is not known if PCSK9 inhibitors are safe or effective for children and teens.

It is not known if PCSK9 inhibitors are safe for people with severe kidney impairment or severe liver impairment.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, PCSK9 inhibitors may not be right for you. It is not known if they are safe for pregnant women.

PCSK9 inhibitors may not be a good choice for breastfeeding women. It is not known if PCSK9 inhibitors are passed into breast milk, or what their effects on the infant might be.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.