Alirocumab is used on its own or together with other medicines to help lower your cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood.
Excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.
This medicine is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Alirocumab is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm or abdomen area).
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you. If you or a caregiver had been given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques of this medicine, you or your caregiver may do the administration.
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button).
This medicine is available as a single-use prefilled autoinjector, syringe, or as an on-body infusor with prefilled cartridge. Make sure you know how to use the specific device you have been given. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Alirocumab must be used regularly for it to be effective. Continue using this medicine even when you feel well. Do not stop using it unless instructed by the doctor.
Administer the missed dose as soon as you remember.
If an every-2-week dose is not administered within 7 days, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
If a once a month dose is not administered within 7 days, administer the dose and start a new schedule based on this date.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Do not take Alirocumab if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to similar medicine such as evolocumab.
Do not administer this medicine to areas with active skin disease or injury (e.g. sunburns, skin rashes, inflammation, skin infections), and with other injectables to the same injection site.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe kidney disease
- severe liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Your doctor may need to perform blood tests to make sure that your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are normal before you take Alirocumab and thereafter depending on your doctor’s advice.
What lifestyle changes should I make to reduce my cholesterol levels?
A healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise are keys to help you reduce your cholesterol levels. Try to control the type and amount of food that you eat each meal. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet and avoid eating fried foods or foods that are high in fat. If you have not been exercising, start slow and gradually step up your exercise capacity.
Alirocumab may cause any of the following side effects: diarrhoea, sore throat, sneezing, muscle pain or spasms, flu or flu-like symptoms (e.g. high temperature, runny nose, and chills), common colds, injection site reactions (e.g. swelling, redness or pain), rash, and itching.
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop taking this medicine and inform your doctor quickly. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking other cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. rosuvastatin, ezetimibe, fenofibrate.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, Alirocumab will become ineffective and should not be used. Protect from light. If needed, this medicine may be stored up to 25°C for maximum of 30 days.
Do not use this medicine if it becomes cloudy or if it has changed in colour.