Ezetimibe is an anti-hyperlipidemic medication. It acts by decreasing cholesterol absorption in the intestine. It is used together with statins (Vytorin®) to help lower cholesterol in patients who cannot be controlled on statins alone.
Importance of 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. Continue using ezetimibe without first talking to your doctor. It may take several weeks of taking the medication before your condition improves.
Stop using ezetimibe if your allergic with the drug or if you have liver disease. Before using this drug you should tell your doctor if you have allergic to any drugs or if you have: kidney disease; diabetes; overactive thyroid; or if you use steroid medicine or hormones (including birth control pills). If you have experience of these conditions you may not be able to use ezetimibe, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Do not take medication in large amount. You should follow what the doctor prescribed to you. Take this with a full glass of water. This is usually taken once a day. You can take the medicine with or without food.
Do not take ezetimibe with cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran), colestipol (Colestid), or colesevelam (Welchol). Wait at least 4 hours after taking any of these medicines before you take ezetimibe. You may also take ezetimibe 2 hours before taking any of these other medicines. Ezetimibe may be taken at the same time with 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 (Baycol).
The complete program of treatment includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
You should avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Ezetimibe will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.
The possible side effects of ezetiomibe are unusual muscle weakness, tenderness, or pain; chest pain; or nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Get emergency help if you have experience these side effects. The signs of allergic reactions: are hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Other serious side effects are tired feeling; stomach pain, diarrhea; headache; cough.
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use ezetimibe or need of dosage adjustments if you are taking cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran); clofibrate (Atromid-S); gemfibrozil (Lopid); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf); or a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).
Ezetimibe is a white, crystalline powder that is freely to very soluble in ethanol, methanol, and acetone and practically insoluble in water. Ezetimibe has a melting point of about 163°C and is stable at ambient temperature. ZETIA is available as a tablet for oral administration containing 10 mg of ezetimibe and the following inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium NF, lactose monohydrate NF, magnesium stearate NF, microcrystalline cellulose NF, povidone USP, and sodium lauryl sulfate NF.
Ezetimibe has the following structural formula: