Why is this medication prescribed?
Repatha is a prescription medication used to treat high cholesterol levels in the blood. It belongs to a class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors. High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, can increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. Repatha is typically prescribed in conjunction with a healthy diet and other cholesterol-lowering medications when diet and other treatments alone are not sufficient to control cholesterol levels.
How should this medicine be used?
Here are some key points about how Repatha should be used:
- Dosage: The recommended dosage of Repatha can vary depending on individual patient factors and the specific situation. It is usually administered as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin). The frequency of injections can also vary.
- Administration: Repatha is usually self-administered by the patient or a caregiver. Your healthcare provider will provide instructions on how to properly administer the injections. It’s important to follow the prescribed dosing schedule.
- Injection Sites: Repatha is typically injected into the thigh, abdomen, or the back of the upper arm. Rotating injection sites can help prevent irritation or lumps at the injection site.
- Storage: Repatha should be stored in the refrigerator, but it can be left at room temperature for up to 30 days before use. It should be protected from light.
- Follow-up: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are important to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and to adjust the dosage if necessary. Blood tests may be conducted to assess cholesterol levels and overall health.
- Adherence: It’s crucial to take Repatha as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Missing doses or not following the recommended schedule may affect the medication’s ability to control cholesterol levels effectively.
Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice on medication use, including Repatha. They can provide detailed information based on your specific health condition and needs.
Other uses for this medicine
Repatha is primarily used for the treatment of high cholesterol, specifically to lower LDL cholesterol levels. It is not typically prescribed for other purposes. Any use beyond its approved indications would be considered off-label, and your healthcare provider would make such decisions based on your individual health needs.
What special precautions should I follow?
As for special precautions with Repatha, here are some important considerations:
- Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you are allergic to evolocumab or any other ingredients in Repatha. Allergic reactions can be serious and may include symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of Repatha during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well established. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.
- Liver Problems: Inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of liver problems. Repatha is metabolized in the liver, and liver function tests may be monitored during treatment.
- Interactions with Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements. Certain medications may interact with Repatha, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects.
- Infections: Repatha may be associated with an increased risk of infections. If you develop signs of infection, such as fever, chills, or cough, contact your healthcare provider promptly.
- Muscle Symptoms: Some people may experience muscle-related symptoms while taking Repatha. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.
- Injection Site Reactions: Localized injection site reactions, such as redness, pain, or bruising, may occur. Rotate injection sites as recommended to minimize irritation.
It’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and attend regular check-ups to monitor your response to Repatha and address any potential issues. Never adjust the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and individual needs.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Repatha. However, maintaining a heart-healthy diet is important for managing cholesterol levels. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for a balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you forget to take a dose of Repatha:
- As Soon as Possible: If it’s close to the time of your next scheduled dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
- Skip if Almost Time for Next Dose: If it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.
- Do Not Double Dose: Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Repatha (evolocumab) is generally well-tolerated, but like any medication, it can cause side effects. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience side effects not listed here. If you are prescribed Repatha, your healthcare provider will weigh the potential benefits against the risks based on your individual health profile. Common and serious side effects of Repatha include:
Common Side Effects:
- Injection Site Reactions: Redness, pain, or bruising at the injection site is a common side effect.
- Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: These may include symptoms such as a cold, flu, or sinusitis.
Serious Side Effects:
- Allergic Reactions: Although rare, severe allergic reactions can occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
- Liver Problems: Repatha may lead to increased liver enzymes. Inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of liver problems.
- Muscle Symptoms: Some individuals may experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Report these symptoms to your healthcare provider.
- Neurocognitive Events: There have been reports of neurocognitive events such as confusion and memory impairment, although the relationship with Repatha is not well-established.
It’s important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects, especially if they are persistent or severe. They can provide guidance on whether to continue with the medication or if any adjustments are needed.
This is not an exhaustive list of side effects, and individual responses to medication can vary. Always read the medication guide provided with Repatha and discuss any concerns or questions with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and current health status. If you experience a medical emergency or severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Storage and Disposal of Repatha:
- Store Repatha in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
- Do not freeze Repatha.
- Keep it in the original carton to protect it from light.
- If needed, Repatha can be left at room temperature (up to 77°F or 25°C) for up to 30 days. However, it should be used within this time frame.
- Dispose of used needles and syringes in a puncture-resistant container or as per local regulations.
- Do not dispose of Repatha in household trash or recycling bins.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions or local guidelines for proper disposal.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of emergency or suspected overdose, seek medical attention immediately. It’s important to contact your local poison control center (1-800-222-1222 in the United States) or go to the nearest emergency room. Provide as much information as possible, including the type and amount of medication ingested.
What other information should I know?
- Regular Follow-ups: Attend regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your cholesterol levels and overall health.
- Lab Tests: Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to monitor your liver function and cholesterol levels during treatment with Repatha.
- Inform Healthcare Providers: Inform all healthcare providers (including dentists and surgeons) about your Repatha use before any procedures or surgeries.
- Medication Guide: Read and follow the instructions in the Repatha Medication Guide provided by your healthcare provider.
- Keep Appointments: Keep all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider to ensure proper monitoring and adjustment of your treatment plan.
- Medication Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, to avoid potential interactions.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of Repatha with your healthcare provider.
Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and consult them with any questions or concerns. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It’s important to have open communication with your healthcare team for the best guidance based on your individual health situation.