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Zetia Side Effects

Generic Name: ezetimibe

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug ezetimibe. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Zetia.

In Summary

More frequent side effects include: upper respiratory tract infection. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to ezetimibe: oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, ezetimibe (the active ingredient contained in Zetia) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Frequency not determined
  • Abdominal fullness
  • black tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating
  • blood in urine or stools
  • chills
  • constipation
  • darkened urine
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • gaseous abdominal pain
  • general tiredness or weakness
  • indigestion
  • large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • light-colored stools
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • muscular tenderness, wasting or weakness
  • nausea
  • pains in stomach, side or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • recurrent fever
  • severe nausea
  • skin rash
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • upper right abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes or skin

Severity: Minor

Some ezetimibe side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common:
  • Fever
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
Less common:
  • Back pain
  • body aches or pain
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • congestion
  • coughing
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in moving
  • dizziness
  • dryness or soreness of throat
  • hoarseness
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain in joints
  • pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
  • shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • stomach pain
  • stuffy nose
  • tender, swollen glands in neck
  • tightness of chest or wheezing
  • trouble in swallowing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • voice changes

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ezetimibe: oral tablet


General side effects including fatigue (2.2%) have been reported.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects including diarrhea (3.7%) and abdominal pain (3.0%) have been reported. Pancreatitis and nausea have also been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]

A case of ezetimibe-induced acute pancreatitis occurred two weeks after initiating therapy. Following discontinuation of ezetimibe the patient's symptoms resolved and pancreatic enzyme levels normalized.[Ref]


Immunologic side effects including sinusitis (3.6%), pharyngitis (2.3%), and viral infection (2.2%) have been reported.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects including back pain (4.1%) and arthralgia (3.8%) have been reported. Other effects including myalgia, arthralgia, elevated creatine phosphokinase, and rare reports of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis have been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects including coughing (2.3%) have been reported.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema, anaphylaxis, rash, urticaria, and erythema multiforme have been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects including elevations in liver transaminases, hepatitis, cholelithiasis, and cholecystitis have been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects including thrombocytopenia have been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects including dizziness, paresthesia, and headache have been associated with ezetimibe (the active ingredient contained in Zetia) in postmarketing experience.


Psychiatric side effects including depression have been reported during the postmarketing experience.


1. "Product Information. Zetia (ezetimibe)." Schering Corporation, Kenilworth, NJ.

2. Ahmad I, Ruby E, Usman H, Hotiana M, Hussain M, Rahman F "Ezetimibe-induced acute pancreatitis." South Med J 100 (2007): 409-10

3. Havranek JM, Wolfsen AR, Warnke GA, Phillips PS "Monotherapy with ezetimibe causing myopathy." Am J Med 119 (2006): 285-6

4. Pattis P, Wiedermann CJ "Ezetimibe-associated immune thrombocytopenia." Ann Pharmacother 42 (2008): 430-3

It is possible that some side effects of Zetia may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.