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Is Zetia a statin drug/medication?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Oct 15, 2020.

Can you take Zetia with a statin?

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

No, Zetia is not a statin drug.

Zetia reduces blood cholesterol in a different way to statin medications. Zetia lowers cholesterol levels by decreasing the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from the small intestine, so that there is less intestinal cholesterol delivered to the liver.

Can you take Zetia with a statin?

Yes, you can take Zetia with a statin as they have a complementary effect at reducing cholesterol levels. They are both cholesterol lowering medications that work in two distinctly different ways.

  • Zetia acts in the small intestine to block cholesterol being absorbed so there is less cholesterol delivered to the liver, with the resulting lower cholesterol levels. This causes an increase in hepatic LDL (low density lipoprotein) receptor activity, which leads to increased clearance of LDL cholesterol.
  • Statins reduce cholesterol levels by inhibiting an enzyme (called HMG-CoA reductase) which causes a decrease in the amount of cholesterol and lipoproteins that the body produces. Statin medications also increase the LDL receptors on liver cells which increases the amount of LDL-cholesterol that can be absorbed out of the bloodstream and then the LDL-cholesterol is broken down

Bottom line:

  • Zetia is not a statin medication, it is a cholesterol absorption inhibitor.
  • Zetia and statins are both cholesterol lowering medications.
  • Zetia and statins can be taken together as their cholesterol lowering effects are complementary.
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