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Does Zetia (ezetimibe) cause memory loss?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Feb 19, 2024.

Official answer


Memory loss is not a side effect of Zetia (ezetimibe) when it is used alone to treat high cholesterol. Zetia is often used with other cholesterol lowering medications like statins which have been linked with cognitive impairment (memory loss, forgetfulness, or confusion).

Ezetimibe, the active ingredient in Zetia, is also found in combination products with a statin:

  • Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin)
  • Roszet (ezetimibe and rosuvastatin)

One case report described a patient with memory loss possibly related to simvastatin (Zocor) use. Gradual memory loss developed following 12 months of simvastatin therapy.

  • After the statin was changed to pravastatin (Pravachol), the patient's memory returned to an intact state within one month.
  • A rechallenge (switching the patient back to simvastatin to see if the memory loss would return) was not performed. This may be done in some cases to confirm a drug-related side effect.
  • Memory loss and confusion has also been reported with rosuvastatin (Crestor).

Ezetimibe is also used in combination with the non-statins bempedoic acid (brand name: Nexlizet) or fenofibrate to treat high cholesterol. However, these products have not been reported to cause memory loss in their product labels.

There have been other reports of cognitive impairment like forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, and confusion associated with statin use. These cognitive issues have been reported for all statins.

Related Questions

Do statins cause long-term memory loss?

Memory loss with statins does not appear to be a serious side effect and reverses when the statin is discontinued. Memory loss can occur within days to years of starting statin therapy, but generally reverses within 3 weeks (median time) after the medicine is stopped.

If you are having trouble with memory, forgetfulness, confusion, or other cognitive symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for further advice.

This is not all the information you need to know about Zetia (ezetimibe) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full Zetia information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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