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Bempedoic Acid: A New Tool in the Battle Against Hyperlipidemia

  • Jason Powell
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Jason Powell, PharmD, BCACP, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, University of Florida, 410 NE Waldo Road, Gainesville, FL 32641, USA.
    Affiliations
    Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
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  • Chris Piszczatoski
    Affiliations
    Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, and the Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
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      Abstract

      Purpose

      This article discusses the pharmacology of bempedoic acid, the trials that led to United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its use, and the overall safety and efficacy of this therapy in heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and hyperlipidemia.

      Methods

      A database search of PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov was conducted for articles published between January 2012 to September 2020 and containing the key words bempedoic acid, ezetimibe, Nexletol and Nexlizet. Trials from the CLEAR series were selected, as they played a pivotal role in the establishment of FDA approval, along with additional trials published after FDA approval, which provided novel evidence on the use of bempedoic acid in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Publications that were not randomized, controlled trials were not included in this review. Only randomized controlled trials in which ezetimibe was used in conjunction with bempedoic acid were included in this review as they were relevant to the new FDA approval of bempedoic acid.

      Findings

      The findings of the present review show that bempedoic acid is both an effective and well-tolerated option for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia when used without ezetimibe in addition to standard therapy. It also appears that the combination with ezetimibe increases the cholesterol-lowering effect more than either agent alone when added to standard therapy.

      Implications

      Hypercholesteremia continues to be a major contributing factor leading to ASCVD. Bempedoic acid is an additional treatment option, along with both statins and diet and exercise, for reducing cholesterol levels and ASCVD events. With the new FDA approval, bempedoic acid may offer an effective therapy for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients at high risk for cardiovascular events due to established ASCVD or heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

      Key words

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