Zetia (ezetimibe)

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Brand Name

Zetia {Merck}

Generic Name

ezetimibe, pronounced ez ET i mibe


What is Zetia?

Zetia helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol or other sterols that
your body absorbs from your diet. You may be prescribed Zetia, alongside a low-fat,
low-cholesterol diet, as well as other cholesterol-lowering medications to treat your high
cholesterol. Zetia may also be used to treat high blood sitosterol and campesterol, along with
diet therapy.

Zetia may also be used for purposes not indicated in this medication guide.


Key Facts About Zetia

Zetia helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol or other sterols that your body absorbs from
your diet. Zetia is a part of a complete program of treatment your doctor may have prescribed
that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control.

You cannot take certain cholesterol medications at the same time that you take Zetia. Do not
take Zetia at the same time with cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran), colestipol (Colestid), or
colesevelam (Welchol). You should wait at least 4 hours after taking any of these medications
before you can take Zetia. You may also take Zetia 2 hours before taking any of these

You can take Zetia at the same time that you take fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen, Lofibra,
TriCor, Triglide), or with any of the “statin” drugs such as lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin
(Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), fluvastatin (Lescol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), or cerivastatin

Zetia can rarely cause a condition which results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue,
which can lead to kidney failure. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience unexplained
muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, particularly if you also have unusual tiredness, a fever or
dark colored urine.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Zetia is in FDA Pregnancy
Category C. It is not yet known if Zetia may harm your unborn baby. Do not breastfeed while
taking Zetia as it is not known if Zetia passes into breast milk.


Before You Take Zetia

If you are allergic toezetimibe you should not take Zetia.

Before taking Zetia, tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney or a thyroid disorder.

Plan to avoid eating foods that are high in fat. Zetia is not as effective at lowering your
cholesterol levels is you are not following a cholesterol-lowering diet plan and exercising.


Zetia Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • amlodipine
  • aspirin
  • atenolol
  • cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran)
  • colesevelam (Welchol)
  • colestipol (Colestid)
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • cyclosporines (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  • Furosemide
  • gemfibrozil (Lopid)
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • levothyroxine
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • lisinopril
  • metformin
  • metoprolol
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • omeprazole
  • Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Zocor (simvastatin)
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine)
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Zetia. You should tell your doctor
about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements
and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new
medication without telling your doctor first.


Directions for Taking Zetia

Zetia is usually prescribed as a medication to take once daily, with or without food. You
should take Zetia exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may change your dose to
make sure that you get the best results from Zetia. You should follow the instructions on your
prescription label and not take Zetia for longer than recommended by your doctor, or in larger or
smaller doses.

Zetia is usually taken once daily, with food, and at the same time each day.

It may take 2 weeks of treatment with Zetia before you notice improved cholesterol levels. You
may also need to take Zetia on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol. It is
important that you follow up with your doctor on a regular basis to be sure that Zetia is helping
your condition and not causing you to have any adverse or harmful effects.

Zetia needs to be stored at room temperature, and away from light, moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose of Zetia you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you
remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose do not take the missed
dose in addition to your regular dose.


Zetia Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Zetia and seek
emergency medical help immediately:

  • chest pain
  • clay colored stools
  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing
  • exhaustion
  • fever with a sore throat, headache and a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
  • hives
  • jaundice
  • muscle pain, tenderness or weakness
  • nausea with stomach pain and appetite loss
  • pancreatitis (symptoms include severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back,
  • nausea and vomiting, and a fast heart rate);
  • swelling, especially of your face, lips, throat or tongue
  • urine that is dark colored

Less serious side effects of Zetia may include:

  • back pain
  • cold symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose
  • cough
  • depression
  • diarrhea (mild)
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • indigestion
  • insomnia
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain (mild)
  • numbness or tingly feeling
  • stomach pain
  • feeling tired

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Zetia. You
should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.


Zetia Description and Dosing

Zetia is available in 10mg tablets, which are white to off-white, capsule-shaped and debossed
with “414” on one side.

Anyone taking Zetia should consult their doctor for specific dosing pertaining to them. Do not
attempt to alter or change your dose without your physician’s consent.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Zetia you should seek emergency help


Ingredients in Zetia

The primary active ingredient in Zetia is ezetimibe. Additional, inactive ingredients include
croscarmellose sodium NF, lactose monohydrate NF, magnesium stearate NF, microcrystalline
cellulose NF, povidone USP, and sodium lauryl sulfate NF.

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The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

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