Ezetimibe

Jul 22, 2022

Generic name: ezetimibe [ ez-ET-i-mibe ]
Brand name: Zetia
Dosage form: oral tablet (10 mg)
Drug class:  Cholesterol absorption inhibitors

What is ezetimibe?

Ezetimibe  is a medicine used to lower cholesterol in people who have  high blood cholesterol . Ezetimibe works by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from your intestines. High cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to form in your blood vessels which increases your risk of heart disease.

Ezetimibe is used in patients who cannot control their cholesterol levels by diet and exercise alone.

You can take ezetimibe as a single ingredient tablet or it is also available in a tablet that contains both ezetimibe and another cholesterol lowering medication called simvastatin. 

Warnings

Ezetimibe is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Some cholesterol medications should not be taken at the same time. If you take ezetimibe with another cholesterol medicine, follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.

You should not use ezetimibe if you have moderate to severe liver disease. You should not use this medicine with a “statin” cholesterol medicine if you have active liver disease, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use ezetimibe if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • moderate to severe  liver disease .

Ezetimibe is not approved for use by anyone younger than 10 years old.

You should not use ezetimibe with a “statin” cholesterol medicine ( Zocor ,  Lipitor ,  Crestor , and others) if:

  • you have active liver disease;
  • you are pregnant; or
  • you are breastfeeding a baby.

Statin cholesterol medications can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to  kidney failure . This happens more often in women, in older adults, or people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism ( underactive thyroid ).

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • unexplained muscle pain or weakness.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using ezetimibe with a statin medicine. Tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant.

Do not breastfeed if you take ezetimibe with a statin medicine.

How should I take ezetimibe?

Take ezetimibe exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Ezetimibe is usually taken once daily at the same time each day.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

Ezetimibe may be taken at the same time with  fenofibrate , or with a statin medication such as  atorvastatin ,  lovastatin ,  simvastatin ,  pravastatin , or  fluvastatin .

Your treatment may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and blood tests.

You may need frequent medical tests, even if you have no symptoms.

Your cholesterol levels may not improve for up to 2 weeks.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipidemia:

10 mg orally once a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia:

10 mg orally once a day

Usual Adult Dose for Sitosterolemia:

10 mg orally once a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hyperlipidemia:

10 years or older: 10 mg orally once a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia:

10 years or older: 10 mg orally once a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Sitosterolemia:

10 years or older: 10 mg orally once a day.

Detailed Ezetimibe dosage information

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking ezetimibe?

Avoid eating foods high in fat or cholesterol, or this medicine will not be as effective.

Ezetimibe side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to ezetimibe:  hives ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Ezetimibe can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark urine.

Side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common ezetimibe side effects may include:

  • diarrhea ;
  • cold symptoms  such as stuffy nose, sneezing,  sore throat ;
  • pain in an arm or leg;
  • joint pain; or
  • muscle pain while taking ezetimibe with a statin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ezetimibe side effects  (more detail)

What other drugs will affect ezetimibe?

If you also take other cholesterol medication: Take ezetimibe 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking  cholestyramine ,  colestipol , or  colesevelam .

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • cyclosporine ;
  • fenofibric acid ;
  • gemfibrozil ; or
  • a blood thinner –  warfarin ,  Coumadin ,  Jantoven .

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ezetimibe, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines,  vitamins , and  herbal products . Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

source :: https://www.drugs.com/ezetimibe.html