Cholesterol injections like Praluent (alirocumab) can quickly lose potency when exposed to heat and light. Alirocumab, the biological drug inside Praluent, is quite unstable, and refrigeration is the only way to guarantee its effectiveness and safety.
Because storing medications incorrectly can lead to serious health complications, following proper storage instructions for your Praluent injector pens is essential.
So, let's make sure you're avoiding unnecessary risks! Learn how to store and handle Praluent, whether at home or traveling.
What is Praluent?
Praluent is the brand name of an FDA-approved medication that helps lower the levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) in the blood. Consequently, by lowering cholesterol levels, Praluent also reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and heart attacks.
Alirocumab, its active ingredient, is a type of biologic called a PCSK9 inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of the PCSK9 protein, allowing the liver to remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream more efficiently.
Praluent is generally prescribed for patients with hypercholesterolemia who cannot lower their LDL cholesterol levels with lifestyle changes, a low-cholesterol diet, and other treatments.
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How to take Praluent?
Praluent is an injectable medication administered by subcutaneous injection (under the skin). It’s usually taken once every two or every four weeks, depending on your needs and doctor's prescription.
The cholesterol injection comes in convenient, single-use, pre-filled injector pens containing 1mL of solution with either 75 or 150 mg of alirocumab.
The patient is responsible for self-injecting Praluent at home. Therefore, being aware of your injections' storage and handling instructions is essential to ensure your treatment’s safety and efficiency.
How to Store Praluent?
Praluent comes with specific storage instructions. Indeed, like most injectable drugs, including insulin, Saxenda, Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy, and many others, the cholesterol injection is very sensitive to heat and temperature changes. Therefore, it must be refrigerated and can only tolerate a limited time outside the fridge.
According to its manufacturers, Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Praluent must be stored in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) before it’s ready to be used.
But when refrigeration is impossible, "patients may keep Praluent at room temperature up to 77°F (25°C) for a maximum of 30 days” and protected from light. Additionally, Praluent should never be frozen.
Before injecting Praluent, you can allow it to warm up to room temperature for about 30 minutes naturally. Injecting room-temperature drugs is less painful than injecting cold ones. However, never heat Praluent or put it in the microwaves, as this could damage the medicine.
Related article: What Temperatures Should Refrigerated Drugs Be Kept At?
Why does Praluent need to be refrigerated?
Alirocumab, the active drug in Praluent, is a biological product made from parts of living organisms, such as proteins or cells. Biologic drugs are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature and quickly lose their effectiveness when not stored properly.
Most biologics, including Praluent, must be refrigerated at a specific temperature range to maintain stability and potency. Refrigeration helps preserve the drug’s structure and function.
Praluent can become less effective or even harmful when exposed to heat, light, or other environmental factors that can cause it to break down or degrade over time. Following proper storage instructions is absolutely essential.
How Long Can Praluent Be at Room Temperature?
Praluent is good for 30 days at room temperature (out of the fridge). However, it should never be exposed to temperatures above 77°F (25°C) during that time.
After 30 days unrefrigerated, you must dispose of your Praluent injector pens, even if there’s still medicine inside.
Before injecting Praluent, always check the following:
- It has been stored according to the instructions.
- It hasn’t been out of the fridge for more than 30 days.
- It has never been exposed to temperatures above 77°F (25°C), even briefly.
- It has never been frozen, even if it has thawed afterward.
- Your injector pen is not expired (the expiration date is labeled on the pen and usually occurs about one year from the purchase date).
- The liquid inside looks clear and colorless. If you notice any cloudiness, discoloration, or particles, do not use it. These may be signs your Praluent has gone bad.
When in doubt, do not use your injection pen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Traveling with Praluent
If you must travel with Praluent because your next injection happens while away from home, you can store it at room temperature (up to 77°F / 25°C) for up to 30 days, protected from light.
People traveling under hot weather conditions (above 77°F / 25°C) must use a cooler to protect their cholesterol injections from the heat.
People traveling with Praluent for over a month (30 days) must use a travel refrigerator that ensures the injections are kept refrigerated at all times.
Additionally, always keep your Praluent injector pens away from direct sunlight and do not store them in a car or other vehicle, where temperatures can vary widely.
Praluent travel kits
4AllFamily offers the most performant and reliable medical-grade travel coolers specifically designed to keep refrigerated drugs like Praluent safe and effective.
The Pioneer Travel Refrigerator is an excellent option for people traveling with up to 3 Praluent injector pens. This travel fridge is designed to maintain an internal temperature range of 36°F - 46°F (2°C - 8°C) for up to 12 hours using its battery, even in high temperatures of 104°F (40°C) (extendable with extra batteries!).
If connected to a power source, it functions as a mini fridge indefinitely. This makes it a flexible and dependable option for those who need to refrigerate Praluent pens while traveling or in places where refrigeration may be limited.
The Nomad cooling bottle is another great option for traveling with Praluent. It works exclusively without power, thanks to a powerful insulation and biogel packs system that maintains fridge temperature 36°F - 46°F (2°C - 8°C) for up to 30 hours even when it’s 104°F / 40°C outside!
If you’re looking for a simpler solution to protect your Praluent pens from high heat for up to 30 days, you may consider a cheaper alternative, like the Companion Soft Medical Cooler Bag.
The insulated bag maintains a safe room temperature range of 36°F - 79°F (2 - 26°C) for up to 10 hours, even when the outside temperature reaches as high as 104°F / 40°C
For more travel coolers suitable for your Praluent pens, browse our catalog or contact our support team!