Praluent (alirocumab) is a prescription drug that’s used to help lower cholesterol and the risk of certain heart and blood vessel problems. Praluent can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. Examples include injection site reactions, flu-like symptoms, and muscle pain.

Specifically, Praluent is used to:

The active ingredient in Praluent is alirocumab. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) The drug comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled pen for injection under the skin.

Keep reading to learn about the common, mild, and serious side effects that Praluent can cause. For a general overview of the drug, including details about its uses, see this article.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during their Praluent treatment. Examples of this drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

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

Additional side effects are possible with Praluent. Some of these are discussed in the sections below.

Like most drugs, Praluent may cause mild side effects. Examples that have been reported with Praluent include:

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

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be easily managed. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bother you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And do not stop using Praluent unless your doctor recommends it.

Praluent may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

In rare cases, Praluent may cause serious side effects. These are not common, but you should call your doctor right away if you experience them. If you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Serious side effects that have been reported with Praluent include:

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

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Praluent, visit MedWatch.

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Praluent’s side effects.

Can Praluent cause long-term side effects?

It’s not likely. Long-term side effects were not reported in studies of Praluent.

Do the different strengths of Praluent injection, including 75 mg/mL and 150 mg/mL, cause different side effects?

Both the 75-milligram (mg) per milliliter (mL) and 150-mg/mL strengths of Praluent can cause the same side effects. But injection site reactions were reported more often with a higher dose of Praluent in one study.

Not all people who use a higher dose of Praluent will have more side effects. Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned about your risk of side effects related to your dosage of this drug.

For details about the Praluent’s dosage, see this article.

Are weight gain and hair loss side effects of Praluent?

Weight gain and hair loss were not reported as side effects in Praluent studies. Talk with your doctor if you have gained weight or experienced hair loss with Praluent to see whether they can determine the cause.

This section provides more information on certain side effects of Praluent. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about other possible side effects.

Muscle pain

Some people in Praluent studies experienced muscle pain, but it wasn’t a commonly reported side effect. Keep in mind that many people who use Praluent also take a statin to help lower their cholesterol. Muscle pain is also a possible side effect of statins.

What might help

Talk with your doctor if you have muscle pain while using Praluent. They may have suggestions on how to manage the pain or recommend a different medication for your condition.

High liver enzyme levels

Some people in Praluent studies experienced an increase in liver enzyme levels. This is a rare side effect, but it could possibly cause liver damage. Signs of liver damage can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dark urine
  • loss of appetite
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes)

It’s not known whether people who already have liver damage have a higher risk of increased liver enzymes when using Praluent.

What might help

Your doctor will likely order liver function tests for you during your Praluent treatment. They’ll use the results of these tests to monitor your liver enzyme levels. Talk with your doctor if you experience any symptoms listed above.


Nasopharyngitis, also known as a cold, was the most common side effect reported in Praluent studies. Symptoms can include:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat

What might help

If your cold symptoms are bothersome, ask your doctor or pharmacist which over-the-counter medications might be the best option for you. You should also drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest.

Injection site reactions

Injection site reactions were a common side effect reported in studies of Praluent. People who received a higher dose of the drug were more likely to experience these reactions.

Signs of an injection site reaction may include:

  • itching
  • pain
  • swelling
  • skin discoloration or redness

What might help

To help prevent injection site reactions, you should change where you inject Praluent each time. (This is often referred to as rotating injection sites.) Talk with your doctor if injection site reactions happen frequently or become bothersome.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Praluent can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Allergic reactions, including serious ones, were reported in Praluent studies. The most commonly reported symptom was itchiness.

Other symptoms of allergic reaction can be mild to serious and can include:

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

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms. Examples include:

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Praluent, they’ll decide whether you should continue using it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Praluent, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Praluent treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking a new drug or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Taking notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Praluent affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Praluent may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Praluent is a good treatment option for you. Talk with your doctor about your health history before using this medication. Factors to consider include those described below.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Praluent or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe it for you. Ask them about other medications that might be better options.

Alcohol and Praluent

It’s not known whether alcohol interacts with Praluent. If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much, if any, is safe for you to consume while using Praluent.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding with Praluent

It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Praluent while pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk with your doctor about your treatment options if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning for either.

Most Praluent side effects are mild and should go away on their own. If you experience side effects with Praluent, talk with your doctor.

Be sure to ask them any questions you have about possible side effects. A few examples include:

  • Do I have a higher risk of side effects than other people?
  • Are side effects more common when first starting treatment with Praluent?
  • How do the side effects of Praluent compare with other drugs used to treat high cholesterol?

To learn more about Praluent, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline 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.