The FDA has approved a new non-statin cholesterol-lowering drug for people who are unable to lower high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), the “bad” type, with statins and diet alone or who can’t tolerate statins. Bempedoic acid (Nexletol) is also approved for people who are genetically predisposed toward sometimes dangerously high levels of LDL-C, a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia.
Nexletol’s risks include hyperuricemia (a buildup of uric acid in the blood that can cause gout) and tendon rupture or injury, especially among those with a prior injury.
According to the drug’s manufacturer, Nexletol should be available by March 30, 2020. Cost is still being determined. Post-marketing clinical trials to determine long-term side effects are ongoing. Nexletol comes in a tablet to be taken once daily.
This article also appears in the May 2020 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.
Also see Cholesterol Guidelines: What’s New?