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Zetia

What is Zetia (ezetimibe)

Zetia (ezetimibe) reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body.

Zetia (ezetimibe) is used to reduce the amount of total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B (a protein needed to make cholesterol) in the blood. Zetia (ezetimibe) is used with a low cholesterol diet and, in some cases, other cholesterol lowering medications.

Zetia (ezetimibe) may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Zetia (ezetimibe)

Do not stop taking Zetia (ezetimibe) unless directed to do so by your doctor. It may be weeks or months before beneficial effects are seen from this medication.

What you should find out before taking Zetia (ezetimibe)

Before taking Zetia (ezetimibe), tell your doctor if you
- have liver disease;
- are taking another cholesterol-lowering medication; or
- have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.

You may not be able to take Zetia (ezetimibe), or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Zetia (ezetimibe) is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Zetia (ezetimibe) will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take Zetia (ezetimibe) without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether Zetia (ezetimibe) passes into breast milk. Do not take Zetia (ezetimibe) without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take Zetia (ezetimibe)

Take Zetia (ezetimibe) exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Take Zetia (ezetimibe) once a day with or without food. It may be easier to remember to take the medication if you take it at the same time every day.

Zetia (ezetimibe) should be taken 2 hours before or 4 hours after a bile acid sequestrant such as cholestyramine (Locholest, Prevalite, Questran), colestipol (Colestid), or colesevelam (Welchol).

Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. To see beneficial effects from Zetia (ezetimibe) avoid fatty, high-cholesterol foods.

Your doctor may want to monitor cholesterol levels, liver function, or other factors with blood tests before starting and during treatment with Zetia (ezetimibe). Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor can determine how much monitoring you will require.

Do not stop taking Zetia (ezetimibe) unless directed to do so by your doctor. It may be weeks or months before beneficial effects are seen from this medication.

Store Zetia (ezetimibe) at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of the medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an Zetia (ezetimibe) overdose are not known.

Avoid while taking Zetia (ezetimibe)

Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. To see beneficial effects from Zetia (ezetimibe) avoid fatty, high-cholesterol foods.

Possible side effects of Zetia (ezetimibe)

If you experience an uncommon allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives), stop taking Zetia (ezetimibe) and seek emergency medical attention.

Other, less serious side effects have also been reported, although uncommon. Continue to take Zetia (ezetimibe) and talk to your doctor if you experience
- abdominal pain;
- diarrhea; or
- tiredness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Zetia (ezetimibe)

Before taking Zetia (ezetimibe), tell your doctor if you are taking:
- another medicine to lower cholesterol such as gemfibrozil (Lopid), fenofibrate (Tricor), clofibrate (Atromid-S), atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altocor, Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), or simvastatin (Zocor).
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf).

You may not be able to take Zetia (ezetimibe), or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medications listed above.

Zetia (ezetimibe) should be taken 2 hours before or 4 hours after a bile acid sequestrant such as cholestyramine (Locholest, Prevalite, Questran), colestipol (Colestid), or colesevelam (Welchol).

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with cholestyramine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Where can I get more information

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