Zetia (generic: ezetimibe) is a prescription medication used to treat high cholesterol when diet and exercise alone are not enough. Zetia belongs to a group of drugs called cholesterol absorption inhibitors which block absorption of cholesterol from food in the digestive tract.
This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once daily, with or without food.
Common side effects of Zetia include diarrhea, joint pains, and tiredness.
Zetia is a prescription medication used with diet and exercise to treat high cholesterol. It may be given with other cholesterol-lowering medications. Zetia is also used to treat a rare genetic condition called sitosterolemia.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
- In clinical studies patients reported few side effects while taking Zetia. These included diarrhea, joint pains, and feeling tired.
- Patients have experienced severe muscle problems while taking Zetia, usually when Zetia was added to a statin drug.
- If you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness while taking Zetia, contact your doctor immediately.
- You need to do this promptly, because on rare occasions, these muscle problems can be serious, with muscle breakdown resulting in kidney damage.
Additionally, the following side effects have been reported in general use:
- allergic reactions (which may require treatment right away) including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing,
- rash, and hives
- raised red rash, sometimes with target-shaped lesions
- joint pain
- muscle aches
- alterations in some laboratory blood tests
- liver problems
- stomach pain
- inflammation of the pancreas
- tingling sensation
- inflammation of the gallbladder.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
- gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- fenofibrate (Tricor, Fibricor)
- cholestyramine (Questran, WellChol, Colestid)
- warfarin (Coumadin)
This is not a complete list of drug interactions with Zetia. Ask your doctor for more information.
- Do not take Zetia if you are allergic to ezetimibe, the active ingredient in Zetia, or to the inactive ingredients.
- If you have active liver disease, do not take Zetia while taking cholesterol-lowering medicines called statins.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, do not take Zetia while taking a statin.
- If you are a woman of childbearing age, you should use an effective method of birth control to prevent pregnancy while using Zetia added to statin therapy.
- Zetia has not been studied in children under age 10.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Zetia there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Zetia.
- Tell your doctor about any prescription and non-prescription medicines you are taking or plan to take, including natural or herbal remedies.
- Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including allergies.
Tell your doctor if you:
- ever had liver problems. Zetia may not be right for you.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Your doctor will discuss with you whether Zetia is right for you.
- are breast-feeding. We do not know if Zetia can pass to your baby through your milk. Your doctor will discuss with you whether Zetia is right for you. experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Zetia will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Zetia is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.
- Take Zetia once a day, with or without food. It may be easier to remember to take your dose if you do it at the same time every day, such as with breakfast, dinner, or at bedtime. If you also take another medicine to reduce your cholesterol, ask your doctor if you can take them at the same time.
- If you forget to take Zetia, take it as soon as you remember. However, do not take more than one dose of Zetia a day.
- Continue to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet while taking Zetia. Ask your doctor if you need diet information.
- Keep taking Zetia unless your doctor tells you to stop. It is important that you keep taking Zetia even if you do not feel sick.
- See your doctor regularly to check your cholesterol level and to check for side effects. Your doctor may do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking Zetia with a statin and during treatment.
Take Zetia exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The recommended dose of Zetia is 10 mg once daily, with or without food.
If you take too much Zetia, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Zetia 10 mg tablets contain the active ingredient ezetimibe.
Croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Store Zetia at room temperature in the container it came in, tightly closed. Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.