A new dawn in cholesterol management or just a wind of change? PCSK9 and Lipitor patients

The winds of change—what is PCSK9 and how does it fit with Lipitor (atorvastatin)??

We’ve recently heard about challenges with increasing doses of medicines in the statin family and it appeared that science needed to bring us a new drug. The NEJM today has an original article about the effect of a new monoclonal antibody to PCSK9 on LDL cholesterol in patients on Lipitor--with no apparent increase in side effects.

PCSK9 binds to LDL receptors and makes them work for a shorter time, leading to increased LDL. An experimental antibody to PCSK9 appeared to avoid side effects that are possible with a larger statin dose AND lead to more than a 70% decrease in bad (LDL cholesterol for some patients)--AND no apparent increase in side effects. Definitely a rising star and a compound to watch ! May be a true breakthrough for the next Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs.

 In the New England Journal of Medicine 3/22/12 !

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