High cholesterol: MHRA approve new drug to lower cardiovascular risk – side effects

High cholesterol: MHRA approve new drug to lower cardiovascular risk – side effects

05/02/2021

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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Vazkepa (icosapent ethyl) is designed to reduce the risk of deadly cardiovascular conditions for people who are already taking statins and have elevated triglycerides of more than 150mg/dL. Professor Gabriel Steg said: “Icosapent ethyl could reduce cardiovascular events and has the potential to change the way residual cardiovascular risk is treated. “This authorisation of icosapent ethyl can make a difference to patients who are at high-risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

“Eligible patients can be confident we have a new treatment that is backed by evidence-based data.”

Professor Steg – who is director of the Coronary Care Unit of Hopital Bichat in Paris – co-authored the REDUCE-IT study.

The landmark research involved 8,179 statin-treated adult patients with moderately elevated triglyceride levels.

These participants were followed for around four to five years during the course of the study.

READ MORE: Calcium supplement may help ‘blood to clot normally’ – signs of a deficiency

Treatment with icosapent ethyl was associated with a 25 percent relative risk reduction of major adverse cardiovascular events.

Major adverse cardiovascular events included:

  • Death
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coronary revascularisation
  • Hospitalisation for unstable angina

There was also a 4.8 percent “absolute risk reduction” of such events for those treated with icosapent ethyl.

However, some side effects of the drug were reported, such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Peripheral oedema
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Constipation
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Gout
  • Rash

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Amarin – the pharmaceutical company behind the potentially life-saving drug – had its CEO comment on this latest development.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Thero said: “We began developing icosapent ethyl in Europe more than a decade ago.

“We are very grateful to the many patients and physicians who contributed to the development and clinical study of icosapent ethyl.

“Icosapent ethyl can help to reduce strokes, heart attacks and other major cardiovascular events in high-risk patients across Europe.

“We are dedicated to a rethinking of cardiovascular disease risk reduction in Europe with an emphasis on preventative care.”

How to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease

The main ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease is to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Both blood pressure and cholesterol can be reduced by eating a healthier diet.

A healthy diet consists of five portions of fruit and vegetables daily and whole grains.

It’s also important to be “more physically active” – exercise is considered a magic pill for good health.

Exercising can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and can help you to get to a healthy weight.

The usual no smoking and reduce alcohol consumption advice applies, as does taking any prescribed medication to treat any underlying health conditions.

Speak to your GP if you would like more support in becoming healthier.

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