What is ezetimibe?

Ezetimibe reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body.

Ezetimibe is used to treat high cholesterol. Ezetimibe is sometimes given with other cholesterol-lowering medications.

Ezetimibe may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ezetimibe, or if you have liver disease.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are 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 any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take ezetimibe.

In rare cases, cholesterol-lowering medication can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. This condition can lead to kidney failure. Call your doctor at once if you have unexplained muscle pain or tenderness, muscle weakness, fever or flu symptoms, and dark colored urine.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether ezetimibe passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

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.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of ezetimibe is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • unusual muscle weakness, tenderness, or pain;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • chest pain; or
  • pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • mild stomach pain, diarrhea;
  • tired feeling;
  • headache;
  • dizziness;
  • depressed mood;
  • runny or stuffy nose, cold symptoms;
  • joint pain, back pain; or
  • cough.

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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before taking ezetimibe, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran);
  • colestipol (Colestid);
  • colesevelam (Welchol);
  • clofibrate (Atromid-S);
  • gemfibrozil (Lopid);
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf); or
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with ezetimibe. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Zetia and ezetimibe

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. 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 drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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