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Generic Name: ezetimibe (ez ET i mibe)
Brand Names: Zetia

What is Zetia?

Zetia (ezetimibe) reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body.

Zetia is used to treat high cholesterol.

Zetia is sometimes given with other cholesterol-lowering medications.

Important information

Zetia is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Some cholesterol medications should not be taken at the same time. If you take Zetia with another cholesterol medicine, follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

You should not use Zetia if you have moderate to severe liver disease. You should not use ezetimibe with a "statin" cholesterol medicine if you have active liver disease, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Zetia if you are allergic to ezetimibe, or if you have:

  • moderate to severe liver disease.

You should not use ezetimibe with a "statin" cholesterol medicine (Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor, and others) if:

  • you have active liver disease;

  • you are pregnant; or

  • you are breast-feeding a baby.

To make sure Zetia is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease; or

  • a thyroid disorder.

Before you start taking Zetia, tell your doctor if you already take a statin cholesterol medicine.

Some cholesterol medications can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

You should not take ezetimibe with a statin medication if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

It is not known whether Zetia alone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using ezetimibe with a statin medication.

It is not known whether ezetimibe alone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. You should not breast-feed if you take Zetia with a statin medication.

How should I take Zetia?

Take Zetia exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Zetia is usually taken once daily. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

Zetia may be taken at the same time with fenofibrate, or with a statin medication such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, or fluvastatin.

Some cholesterol medications should not be taken at the same time.

  • If you also take cholestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam: Wait at least 4 hours after taking any of these medicines before you take ezetimibe. You may also take ezetimibe 2 hours before taking any of these other medicines.

  • You should not take ezetimibe with gemfibrozil.

You may need frequent blood tests to check your liver function if you take ezetimibe with a statin medicine.

It may take up to 2 weeks before your cholesterol levels improve. Keep using your medication as directed. You will need frequent blood tests to measure your cholesterol levels.

Zetia is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Zetia?

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Zetia will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.

Zetia side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Zetia: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some cholesterol medications can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common Zetia side effects may include:

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat;

  • diarrhea; or

  • pain in an arm or leg.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Zetia dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipidemia:

10 mg once a day with or without food.

Usual Adult Dose for Sitosterolemia:

10 mg once a day with or without food.

What other drugs will affect Zetia?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • cyclosporine; or

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Zetia, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Zetia.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Zetia only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2016 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 2015-11-25, 3:45:51 PM.

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