Leqvio: Uses, Dosage , Side effects and Interactions
Doctors prescribe Leqvio for lowering the high cholesterol in the body. Leqvio is the trade name for the drug to reduce the LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) in adults with familial hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and primary hyperlipidemia.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited disease that increases the risk of developing cardiac (heart) issues at a younger age by raising the cholesterol levels in the body.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the condition of plaque (fat deposit) builds up in the arteries resulting in hardening and narrowing of the passage and heart problems.
Primary hyperlipidemia is a disorder caused due to hereditary reasons and runs in families. It results in high cholesterol and triglycerides (fat) in the body.
Depending on the patient’s situation, the physician might advise Leqvio with a low-fat, balanced diet, exercise, and other drugs viz; statin or diet only. The doctor might also recommend Leqvio for other disorders.
Leqvio is a fluid solution, and physicians inject it under the skin.
Facts of Leqvio
- In 2021, the Food and Drug Administration, United States, approved Leqvio
- Leqvio is the foremost FDA-approved siRNA (short interfering ribonucleic acid) drug to lower the body’s bad cholesterol. SiRNA is substances in the body that help control gene expression.
- Leqvio is available only as a trade-name drug. It is not obtainable in its generic form. Generic medicine contains the identical ingredient as in the trade name drug
Category of drug
- Leqvio comprises inclisiran as the active substance. Leqvio relates to the drug class known as small interfering RNA.
- The drug class is the compilation of drugs that functions likewise
Mode of action of Leqvio
- Leqvio functions by assisting the liver cells in eliminating the body’s bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Our liver cells have LDL (low-density lipoprotein) receptors that help remove low-density lipoprotein from the blood. The LDL is further fragmented in the liver and eliminated from the body.
- But in diseased conditions, the LDL receptors get damaged by a liver protein known as PCSK9; hence, the body’s LDL cholesterol increases.
- Leqvio functions by preventing the liver’s PCSK9 protein production, lowering the body’s LDL or bad cholesterol
Dosage of Leqvio
The physician will direct the minimal dose of Leqvio that suits the patient.
Here are some of the commonly advised doses of Leqvio:
- Initial injection-284 mg(milligram)
- Second injection-284 mg(after three months)
- Subsequent injections-284 mg(every six months)
Formulation of Leqvio
- Leqvio is available as a solution in prefilled injection syringes of single doses
- 284 mg (milligram) in 1.5 mL (milliliter) solution
- The healthcare professional will administer Leqvio as a subcutaneous injection (an injection that doctors give underneath the skin) in a health clinic or hospital.
- He will inject in the thighs, abdomen, and upper arm. Moreover, he will select regions free from sunburns, swellings, and rashes while providing the injection.
- The doctor will give the first two injection doses at an interval of three months. Following this, the doctor will provide the subsequent injection doses every six months
- If one misses the dose for Leqvio, he must call the doctor immediately and rearrange for the subsequent quantity.
- If the missed dose is less than three months, the doctor might allow taking an amount and permit carrying on with the treatment plan.
- But if the missed dose has crossed three months, the doctor might ask you to renew the Leqvio dosing, i.e., to restart from the beginning of the advised dosing program.
- One can also download and try the reminder app on a cell phone to ensure that one does not miss a dose.
Uses of Leqvio
The FDA has permitted Leqvio to treat the following conditions:
- Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
- Familial hypercholesterolemia (a type of hyperlipidemia)
- Primary hyperlipidemia
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
- It is the condition of fat deposits (plaque) in the arterial walls, thereby narrowing the arterial passages. It is the chief cause of heart attacks and strokes among people.
- It is a hereditary disease that can cause increased cholesterol levels right from birth.
- This disorder causes increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels due to genetic anomalies (abnormalities). This type runs for generations.
Leqvio effectively treats the above-listed conditions by lowering the cholesterol levels in the body. The physician often advises patients to take Leqvio with a low-fat, well-balanced diet and statin medication.
The fact is that certain cholesterol-lowering medications lower the chances of stroke, heart attack, and death associated with high cholesterol. Still, researchers lack information on whether Leqvio can reduce the high cholesterol fatal risk. So, doctors often do not prescribe Leqvio alone and advice another drug, statin, to lower cholesterol-related catastrophic risk
Side effects of Leqvio
Mild side effects
- Pain and warmth in the injection site
- Skin discoloration at the injection site
- Lung infection viz; bronchitis
- Urinary tract infection with burning pain during urination
- Leg pain
- Joint pain
- Trouble breathing
- Mild itching and rash
Serious side effects
- Severe allergic reaction
- Urticaria (hives)
- Severe itching
- Face swelling, including lips, tongue, and mouth
- Skin reddening
- Shortness of breath
- Severe reaction at the injection site
- High fever
- Pus from the injected site
- Severe pain in the injected site
- Swelling or lump
Overdose toxicity of Leqvio
- If one thinks he has overdosed on the injection, dial the doctor or the poison control center immediately.
- If someone experiences shortness of breath, he must dial 911 or the urgent medical number based on the geological location or hurry to the nearest medical room
Precaution of Leqvio
- To date, the researchers have not studied the Leqvio drug in pregnant ladies, so it is unknown about the drug’s safety in pregnant women.
- However, for a growing fetus, cholesterol is essential for average growth and development. But Leqvio decreases the cholesterol levels in the body, which can prove detrimental for the growing fetus. So doctors often do not advise Leqvio during pregnancy.
- Also, there is a lack of research on human breast milk to confirm its safety for nursing mothers. But statin drugs which doctors often recommend with Leqvio are not allowed for nursing mothers. So, one must always speak with the doctor before taking Leqvio if one is breastfeeding or planning to do so
Leqvio might not be suitable for individuals with specific medical ailments.
Always speak to the physician if you suffer from the conditions listed below:
- Allergic to Leqvio or any other medication or food
- Serious liver issues
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- Nursing mothers
Interactions of Leqvio
- There is insufficient information to conclude whether Leqvio could interact with other medications, food, or supplements.
- However, drug interactions are still possible. So one must inform the physician about any medications, vitamins, or health supplements one is using before taking the Leqvio shots.
- The physician can decide whether Leqvio will be appropriate for the individual
Alternatives to Leqvio
Additional drugs are also there that treat high cholesterol, similarly to Leqvio. Several others may give you good results than others. One who wants an alternative to Leqvio injection might speak to a health professional to get the finest fit.
Some alternative drugs for primary hyperlipidemia are as follows:
- Leqvio is a cholesterol-lowering prescription drug for treating familial hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and primary hyperlipidemia in adults.
- Individuals with medical ailments must inform the physician before taking Leqvio injection to avert complications.
- Leqvio has adverse effects, and overdose can create serious health issues. So, individuals must stick to doses recommended by the health care professional.