Skip to Content

ezetimibe FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about ezetimibe or relate to a group or class of drugs which include ezetimibe.

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for ezetimibe

Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (Vytorin); Simvastatin (Zocor); and Ezetimibe (Zetia)

Aug 21, 2008

Audience: Endocrinologists, cardiologists, other healthcare professionals, patients

[Posted 08/21/2008] FDA informed healthcare professionals that the Agency is investigating a report from the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) trial of a possible association between the use of Vytorin and a potentially increased incidence of cancer. Vytorin is a combination product of simvastatin and ezetimibe used to decrease the production of cholesterol by the liver and inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine to reduce LDL-cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Recently, FDA obtained preliminary results from the SEAS trial. The clinical trial tested whether lowering LDL-cholesterol with Vytorin would reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in individuals with aortic stenosis. A lower overall cardiovascular risk was not found with Vytorin. However, there was an additional observation that a larger percentage of subjects treated with Vytorin were diagnosed with and died from all types of cancer combined when compared to placebo during the 5-year study.

FDA anticipates receiving a final SEAS study report in about 3 months and the Agency's review and evaluation of the clinical trial data and other relevant information should take approximately 6 months. FDA will communicate its conclusions and recommendations at that time. Healthcare professionals and caregivers should continue to monitor patients taking Vytorin and report side effects from the use of this drug to the Agency.

[August 21, 2008 - Early Communication about an Ongoing Safety Review - FDA]

Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (marketed as Vytorin), Ezetimibe (marketed as Zetia), and Simvastatin (marketed as Zocor)

Jan 25, 2008

Audience: Cardiovascular healthcare professionals and patients

[Posted 01/25/2008] FDA provided healthcare professionals with an early communication about an ongoing data review for Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (marketed as Vytorin), Ezetimibe (marketed as Zetia), and Simvastatin (marketed as Zocor). This early communication is in keeping with FDA’s commitment to inform the public about ongoing postmarketing drug issues.

Merck/Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals reported preliminary results from the Effect of Combination Ezetimibe and High-Dose Simvastatin vs. Simvastatin Alone on the Atherosclerotic Process in Patients with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (ENHANCE) trial. This trial was designed to evaluate the amount of atherosclerotic plaque in blood vessels located in the neck based on images obtained through ultrasound in patients treated with Vytorin (ezetimibe plus simvastatin) or simvastatin alone.  Merck/Schering Plough stated that there was no significant difference between Vytorin and simvastatin in the amount of atherosclerotic plaque in the inner walls of the carotid (neck) arteries despite greater lowering of LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) with Vytorin compared to simvastatin. Once Merck/Schering Plough completes the analysis of the unblinded data from ENHANCE, it will submit a final study report to FDA. Once FDA receives the final study report, FDA estimates it will take approximately 6 months to fully evaluate the data. After reviewing the data from the ENHANCE study, and considering all other available information about the link between LDL lowering and reduction of cardiovascular events, FDA will determine whether any further regulatory action is warranted with regard to Zetia and Vytorin and also whether any changes to FDA’s current approach to drugs that lower LDL cholesterol are warranted.

Patients should talk to their doctors if they have any questions about the information from the ENHANCE trial.

[January 25, 2008 - Early Communication about an Ongoing Data Review - FDA]

More ezetimibe Resources