Generic Name: ezetimibe and simvastatin (Oral route)

ez-ET-i-mide, sim-va-STAT-in

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Vytorin

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Antihyperlipidemic

Pharmacologic Class: Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitor

Uses For Vytorin

Ezetimibe and simvastatin combination is used together with a proper diet to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride (fats) levels in the blood. This medicine may help prevent medical problems (eg, heart attack, stroke) caused by clogged blood vessels.

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Ezetimibe is a cholesterol absorption inhibitor and simvastatin is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, or statin. This medicine will reduce the absorption of cholesterol from foods and the production of cholesterol in your body.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription. Vytorin has not been shown to reduce heart attacks or strokes more than simvastatin alone.

Before Using Vytorin

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ezetimibe and simvastatin combination in children 10 to 17 years of age. However, safety and efficacy of ezetimibe and simvastatin combination in children younger than 10 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ezetimibe and simvastatin combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related muscle problems, which may require caution in patients receiving ezetimibe and simvastatin combination.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters X Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amprenavir
  • Atazanavir
  • Boceprevir
  • Clarithromycin
  • Cobicistat
  • Cyclosporine
  • Danazol
  • Darunavir
  • Erythromycin
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Indinavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lopinavir
  • Mibefradil
  • Mifepristone
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Posaconazole
  • Ritonavir
  • Saquinavir
  • Telaprevir
  • Telithromycin
  • Tipranavir
  • Voriconazole

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acenocoumarol
  • Amiodarone
  • Amlodipine
  • Azithromycin
  • Bezafibrate
  • Carbamazepine
  • Ciprofibrate
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Clofibrate
  • Colchicine
  • Conivaptan
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dalfopristin
  • Daptomycin
  • Delavirdine
  • Diltiazem
  • Erlotinib
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Fenofibrate
  • Fenofibric Acid
  • Fluconazole
  • Fusidic Acid
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Lomitapide
  • Mitotane
  • Niacin
  • Pazopanib
  • Piperaquine
  • Primidone
  • Quinupristin
  • Ranolazine
  • Risperidone
  • Simeprevir
  • Tadalafil
  • Verapamil
  • Warfarin

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Albiglutide
  • Alitretinoin
  • Bosentan
  • Cholestyramine
  • Clopidogrel
  • Colestipol
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dasatinib
  • Digoxin
  • Dronedarone
  • Efavirenz
  • Fenofibrate
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Imatinib
  • Interferon Beta
  • Levothyroxine
  • Oat Bran
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Pectin
  • Phenytoin
  • Rifampin
  • St John's Wort
  • Ticagrelor

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Cranberry Juice
  • Grapefruit Juice

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Alcohol abuse, or history of or
  • Chinese ancestry or
  • Diabetes or
  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), not well controlled or
  • Liver disease, history of—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Electrolyte disorders, severe or
  • Endocrine disorders, severe or
  • Epilepsy (seizures), not well-controlled or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Major surgery or trauma, recent or
  • Metabolic disorders, severe or
  • Sepsis (severe infection in the blood)—Patients with these conditions may be at risk for muscle or kidney problems.
  • Liver disease, active or
  • Liver enzymes elevated—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

Proper Use of Vytorin

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

In addition to this medicine, your doctor may change your diet to one that is low in fat, sugar, and cholesterol. Carefully follow your doctor's orders about any special diet.

You may take the tablet with or without food.

If you are taking diltiazem (Cardizem®), dronedarone (Multaq®), or verapamil (Calan®, Isoptin®, Verelan®) together with ezetimibe and simvastatin combination, your dose should not be higher than ezetimibe 10 milligrams (mg) plus simvastatin 10 mg per day, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Do not use more than ezetimibe 10 mg plus simvastatin 20 mg per day together with amiodarone (Cordarone®), amlodipine (Norvasc®), lomitapide (Juxtapid™), or ranolazine (Ranexa®). When used together with higher doses of simvastatin, these medicines may increase your risk of muscle injury and could result in kidney problems.

If you are also using cholestyramine (Questran®), take it at least 2 hours after or 4 hours before you take this medicine.

Tell your doctor if you regularly drink grapefruit juice. Drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice (more than 1 quart each day) while taking this medicine may increase your risk of muscle injury and could result in kidney problems.

Do not drink large amounts of alcohol with this medicine. This could cause unwanted effects on the liver.

This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For high cholesterol:
      • Adults and children 10 to 17 years of age—At first, one tablet with ezetimibe 10 milligrams (mg) plus simvastatin 10 mg or ezetimibe 10 mg plus simvastatin 20 mg once a day in the evening. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than ezetimibe 10 mg plus simvastatin 40 mg per day.
      • Children younger than 10 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using Vytorin

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Do not use ezetimibe and simvastatin combination if you are also taking any of the following medicines: boceprevir (Victrelis®), cobicistat-containing products (Stribild®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), danazol (Danocrine®), gemfibrozil (Lopid®), nefazodone (Serzone®), telaprevir (Incivek®), certain antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, telithromycin, voriconazole, Nizoral®), or medicines to treat HIV/AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Kaletra®, Lexiva®, Norvir®, Prezista®, Reyataz®). Using these medicines together with ezetimibe and simvastatin may increase your risk of muscle injury and could result in kidney problems.

Chinese patients who are taking large amounts of niacin (greater than 1 gram or 1000 milligrams per day) together with this medicine may have an increased risk for muscle injury. Talk to your doctor if you are Chinese or have Chinese ancestry and take large amounts of niacin (Niacor®, Niaspan®).

Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have unusual tiredness or a fever. These could be symptoms of serious muscle problems, such as myopathy or immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM). Myopathy is more common when high doses of simvastatin (80 milligrams) with ezetimibe (10 mg) are used, but some people get myopathy with lower doses.

Check with your doctor right away if you have dark-colored urine, diarrhea, a fever, muscle cramps or spasms, muscle pain or stiffness, or feel very tired or weak. These could be symptoms of a serious muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney problems.

Call your doctor right away if you get a headache, stomach pain, vomiting, dark-colored urine, loss of appetite, weight loss, general feeling of tiredness or weakness, light-colored stools, upper right stomach pain, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of liver damage.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine if you have a major surgery, a major injury, or you develop other serious health problems.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Vytorin Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach fullness
  • bloating
  • chills
  • constipation
  • darkened urine
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • hives
  • hoarseness
  • indigestion
  • itching
  • joint pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • rash
  • redness of the skin
  • shortness of breath
  • stiffness
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
  • Body aches or pain
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with breathing
  • difficulty with moving
  • ear congestion
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • muscle aches and pains or cramping
  • muscle stiffness
  • nasal congestion
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • runny nose
  • shivering
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • sweating
  • swollen joints
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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