Repatha (evolocumab) is a prescription brand-name medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to:

  • Lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that are due to a condition known as homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Repatha is approved for this use in adults as well as children ages 13 years and older. For this purpose, Repatha is prescribed with other drugs that lower cholesterol.
  • Lower levels of LDL cholesterol in adults with high cholesterol. This includes adults with a condition called heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. For this purpose, Repatha may be used alone or with other drugs that lower cholesterol.
  • Lessen the risk of the following in adults with heart disease: stroke, heart attack, and need for certain heart surgeries.

Whichever condition you use Repatha for, you’ll likely use the drug long term if you and your doctor agree that it’s working well for you.

Here are some fast facts about Repatha:

  • Active ingredient: evolocumab
  • Drug class: PCSK9 inhibitor
  • Drug forms: liquid solution for injection, available as a:
    • prefilled single-dose SureClick autoinjector
    • prefilled single-dose syringe

Like other drugs, Repatha can cause certain side effects. Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Repatha, including details about its uses, see this article.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who used Repatha in clinical studies. These side effects can vary depending on which condition the drug is treating.

More common side effects in people using Repatha for high cholesterol include:

More common side effects in people using Repatha to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and certain heart surgeries include:

* To learn more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Mild side effects can occur with Repatha use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Repatha’s patient information.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Repatha include:

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while using Repatha and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* To learn more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Repatha may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Repatha’s patient information.

If you develop serious side effects while using Repatha, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects that have been reported with Repatha include:

* To learn more about the side effects in this list, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after using Repatha. But it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in clinical studies.

Repatha may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.

What are the dangers of taking Repatha?

Repatha shouldn’t cause serious side effects in most people. Even though it’s possible for serious side effects to occur, they’re rare. To learn more, see the “What are the serious side effects of Repatha?” section above.

Keep in mind that having certain medical conditions could increase your risk of certain side effects from Repatha. For more information, refer to the “Precautions for Repatha” section below.

If you have concerns about using Repatha, talk with your doctor.

Are there any reviews about Repatha and its side effects from people who used the medication?

Repatha’s manufacturer offers some reviews from people who have used the medication. Your doctor may also be able to tell you how Repatha has affected people they cared for. In addition, they can tell you how the drug impacted people in clinical studies.

Keep in mind that your doctor is the best person to advise you on whether Repatha is right for you. They’ll base their decision on your health history and the drug’s clinical studies. This is safer and more reliable than depending on someone’s online review of their experience with Repatha.

Does Repatha cause any liver-related side effects?

It’s not likely. In clinical studies, Repatha didn’t cause liver-related side effects, such as an increase in liver enzyme levels or hepatitis (inflammation in your liver). There also haven’t been reports of liver-related side effects since Repatha was approved.

It’s important to note that statins, a class of medications commonly used to treat high cholesterol, can cause liver-related side effects. Your doctor may prescribe a statin for you to use in combination with Repatha.

If you have other questions or concerns about liver-related problems or Repatha, talk with your doctor.

Are weight gain and weight loss side effects of Repatha?

No, neither weight gain nor weight loss was reported by people who used Repatha in clinical studies.

In rare cases, Repatha has been known to cause high blood sugar. If high blood sugar is left untreated over time, it can cause weight gain.

Keep in mind that swelling in your intestines or stomach is a possible side effect of Repatha. This condition can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and cramping in your abdomen (belly). These symptoms often cause dehydration and loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss.

If you experience weight gain or weight loss that bothers you, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to maintain a moderate weight.

Should I expect dizziness when using Repatha?

It’s possible you’ll have dizziness with Repatha. This was a mild side effect reported by people who used the drug in clinical studies, but it wasn’t very common.

If you have dizziness while using Repatha, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to treat this side effect, which may include having you stop using the medication.

Does Repatha cause hair loss?

No, hair loss wasn’t a side effect reported by people who used Repatha in clinical studies.

There have been a few very rare reports of hair loss in people taking a statin drug. But large studies haven’t found a link between taking a statin and hair loss. It’s possible that your doctor will prescribe a statin for you to use in combination with Repatha.

If you have more questions or concerns about hair loss, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more about some of the side effects that Repatha may cause.

Injection site reactions

Repatha is given as a subcutaneous injection. It’s common to have injection site reactions after a dose, but they aren’t usually serious. The reactions can include redness or deepening of skin color, bruising, and pain.

What you can do

To lower your risk of injection site reactions, try to rotate injection sites. This means injecting Repatha in a different spot with each dose. You can inject Repatha into your upper arm, thigh, or abdomen (belly).

You should also avoid injecting Repatha where your skin is bruised, red or discolored, hardened, or tender.

Another strategy is to remove Repatha from the refrigerator ahead of time. If you use the SureClick autoinjector or syringe form, take the medication out at least 30 minutes before injecting a dose. If you use the Pushtronex system, you should remove Repatha at least 45 minutes before injecting a dose. Allowing Repatha to get to room temperature just before injecting your dose can help reduce pain at the injection site.

High blood sugar and diabetes

It’s possible that using Repatha could cause high blood sugar and diabetes. These side effects were commonly reported by people who used the drug in clinical studies to help prevent stroke, heart attack, and the need for certain heart surgeries.

High blood sugar and diabetes weren’t reported as side effects by people in these studies who used Repatha to treat high cholesterol.

Symptoms of high blood sugar can include:

  • dry mouth
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • feeling more thirsty than usual
  • needing to urinate more frequently than usual

What you can do

If you notice symptoms of high blood sugar while using Repatha, talk with your doctor. They may recommend treatments, including medications, to manage high blood sugar. You likely won’t need to stop using Repatha.

Muscle pain

It’s possible to have muscle pain as a side effect from treatment with Repatha. Muscle pain was reported by people who used Repatha in clinical studies, but it wasn’t common.

Keep in mind that statins, a class of medications commonly used to treat high cholesterol, can cause muscle pain. This risk is higher with certain statins than with others. It’s possible that your doctor will prescribe a statin for you to use in combination with Repatha.

What you can do

If you have muscle pain while using Repatha, talk with your doctor. They may recommend ways to treat this side effect, which may include having you stop using Repatha.

If your doctor suspects your muscle pain is due to a different medication you take, such as a statin, they may switch that medication. Ultimately, your doctor will work to find the best treatment plan for your condition.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, Repatha can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in clinical studies.

Symptoms of allergic reaction can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your lips, eyelids, feet, or hands
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What you can do

For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep using Repatha. But if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you use Repatha. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The conditions and factors to consider include:

Allergic reaction to Repatha or its ingredients. You shouldn’t use Repatha If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Repatha or any of its ingredients. Talk with your doctor about which other treatments may be better choices for you.

Latex or rubber allergy. Certain forms of Repatha may not be safe for you to use if you have an allergy to latex or rubber. The caps on SureClick autoinjectors and the needle cover on Repatha syringes the contain rubber. The Pushtronex system is not made with natural rubber latex and may be safe for you to use. If you have a latex or rubber allergy, talk with your doctor before using Repatha.

Alcohol and Repatha

There are no known interactions between using Repatha and drinking alcohol.

But alcohol may interact with other medications you may take in combination with Repatha, such as statins.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about all the medications you take and whether it’s safe to drink alcohol with them.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while using Repatha

Here’s some information about pregnancy, breastfeeding, and Repatha.

Pregnancy. It’s not known whether Repatha is safe to use while pregnant. The drug hasn’t been studied in pregnant people.

Breastfeeding. It’s not known whether it’s safe to breastfeed while using Repatha. It’s not known whether the drug passes into human breast milk or how it could affect a breastfed child.

Talking with your doctor. If you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor before using Repatha. You should also talk with them if you’re breastfeeding or considering it. Your doctor can review the right treatments for you, as well as healthy ways to feed your child.

Like all medications, Repatha can cause side effects. Many are mild and tend to go away on their own within a few days to weeks. In rare cases, the medication can cause some serious side effects that may require treatment. You should talk with your doctor if any side effects last, are bothersome, or are serious.

If you’d like to learn more about Repatha, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from using the drug.

Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.