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What happens if you stop taking ezetimibe?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Nov 17, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Ezetimibe works to reduce cholesterol levels only while you are taking the medication, if you stop taking ezetimibe then it will stop having its effect and your cholesterol levels will return to the levels you had before treatment.

Ezetimibe decreases cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption from the small intestine. This means there will be less buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances (atherosclerosis) on artery walls and if taken long term then reduces risk of heart disease.

For ezetimibe to have cardiovascular benefits you need to take it regularly and long term. If you stop taking it, within a few weeks when there is no ezetimibe left in the body, cholesterol absorption from the small intestine will return to normal and the rate of buildup of fats and cholesterol in the arteries will revert back to the pre ezetimibe rate.

Bottom line:

  • Ezetimibe is a medicine you take long term to reduce cholesterol levels and therefore reduce future cardiovascular risk.
  • If you stop taking ezetimibe, cholesterol level will revert back to the original levels prior to taking ezetimibe.
  • Risk of cardiovascular disease may revert back to the level it was prior to ezetimibe treatment.
References

Zetia Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/pro/zetia.html

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