A NEW cholesterol- busting drug could slash heart attacks and strokes in patients unable to tolerate statins.
The daily pill cut levels of the artery-clogging substance by nearly a third when taken alone, researchers said.
And it did not cause side-effects, such as muscle pain, which force up to half of users to ditch statins.
When it was combined with statins, the drug boosted their effect by almost a fifth within three months, a trial found.
The therapies hamper different areas of the body’s ability to make cholesterol, which blocks arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes. Statins alone can reduce cholesterol by 30 per cent to 50 per cent.
Experts from Imperial College London have now tested bempedoic acid on 2,230 patients.
A previous trial found taking it alone reduced cholesterol by up to 30 per cent.
Longer trials are under way in a bid to prove that the drug lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, of the British Heart Foundation, said “This new drug could provide real benefit for people who can’t take statins or require additional treatments.”
Around 12million Brits — one in three adults over 30 — are eligible for statins under NHS guidelines.
The firm behind bempedoic acid is seeking a licence to sell it in Europe this year.
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