Ezetimibe is indicated for adjunctive therapy with a low cholesterol/low fat diet and exercise regimen to lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. It can be administered as monotherapy or in combination with other medications, such as statins or fibrates. The mechanism of action of ezetimibe involves inhibition of dietary cholesterol absorption, leading to decreased serum cholesterol levels. This may contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular events, such as strokes and heart attacks.
Uses and Dosage
Administer this medication orally as prescribed by your healthcare provider, typically once daily with or without food. The dosage is determined based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
If you are taking a bile acid sequestrant, such as cholestyramine or colestipol, ensure that you take ezetimibe at least 2 hours prior or 4 hours following the administration of the bile acid sequestrant. These products have the potential to bind to ezetimibe, thus impeding its complete absorption by the body.
To derive maximum benefit from this medication, take it consistently at the same time every day.
Maintain the prescribed dosage, even if you feel well. Individuals with high cholesterol typically do not exhibit symptoms.
It may take up to 2 weeks before the full benefits of this medication are realized.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- sore throat
- runny nose
- joint pain
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- upset stomach
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- muscle pain or weakness
- pale or fatty stools
- chest pain
Prior to initiating ezetimibe therapy, inform your physician or pharmacist if you have a known hypersensitivity to the medication or any other allergies. This medication may contain inactive constituents that have the potential to trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, disclose your medical history, particularly if you have a history of liver disease.
During pregnancy, the use of this medication should be limited to cases where the benefits outweigh the risks. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your physician.
The ability of this medication to pass into breast milk is unknown. Prior to breastfeeding, consult with your healthcare provider.
Form and Strength
Zetia is available in the following forms and strengths:
How is Zetia different from statins?
Zetia has a different mechanism of action and lowers blood cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine.
How much does Zetia lower LDL levels?
Zetia lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 15-20% when used alone.