How do PCKS9 Inhibitors work?
An antibody, or protein, that stops proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 is called PCSK9. This results in an increased longevity of the receptors in cells that pull LDL-C out of the blood stream. Because these receptors are now able to last longer, they are able to pull more LDL-C out of the blood stream and lower your cholesterol.
PCSK9 Inhibitors have been proven to lower LDL-C levels even in patients who do not respond to existing cholesterol lowering statins
PCSK9 Inhibitors are taken once every 2 weeks or once monthly.
Why is Lowering LDL-C necessary?
LDL-C cholesterol is bad because it contributes to plaque, a built up, thick deposit that clogs blood vessels and makes them less flexible. These plaque deposits can lead to atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, heart attacks, or strokes.
By increasing absorption of LDL-C into your cells, it reduces the amount in your blood and the chance of plaque being built up.
This leads to a decreased risk of developing potentially life threatening medical conditions. If you already have one of the above conditions, it slows the disease progression.
When should I take a PCSK9i?
If your doctor has told you that you have high cholesterol, high levels of LDL-C, or hyperlipidemia.
If you have tried a statin and had little to no success.
If you have familial hypercholesterolemia that is difficult to control.
If your high cholesterol cannot be managed by dietary or lifestyle changes.
If you have HeFH and/or CVD with LDL-C ~ 70-100 mg/dl.
If you and your doctor have discussed all treatment options thoroughly and agree that this will be best for you.
Why aren’t I on a PCSK9 inhibitors yet?
Although our experience and repository of knowledge with this class are growing, some doctors are waiting until more long-term research has been done to prove the impact of PCSK9 Inhibitors.
Your insurance company may refuse to cover your medication because it is costly.
Your insurance company may wish you try other medications prior to taking a PCSK9 Inhibitor, again to reduce cost to them.
In this video, hear from 50-State Network advocates Cameron and Craig, along with other patients, who have overcome remarkable denials to PCSK9 Inhibitors.