This combination medication is used along with a proper diet to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. Ezetimibe works by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from your diet. Atorvastatin belongs to a group of drugs known as "statins." It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver.
In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking this product and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.
The manufacturer directs not to split/crush the tablet before taking it. However, many similar drugs (immediate-release tablets) can be split/crushed. Follow your doctor's directions on how to take this medication.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If you are taking a bile acid sequestrant (such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take this product at least 2 hours before or at least 4 hours after taking the bile acid sequestrant. These medications may bind to ezetimibe/atorvastatin, preventing your body from fully absorbing the drug.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.
It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of this product.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very small number of people taking atorvastatin may have mild memory problems or confusion. If these rare effects occur, talk to your doctor.
This drug may infrequently cause muscle problems (which can rarely lead to very serious conditions called rhabdomyolysis and autoimmune myopathy). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms during treatment and if these symptoms persist after your doctor stops this drug: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness), change in the amount of urine.
This medication may rarely cause liver problems. If you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects, tell your doctor right away: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to ezetimibe or atorvastatin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with this product. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially muscle problems.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. Atorvastatin may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this product is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How To Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Other medications can affect the removal of atorvastatin from your body, which may affect how atorvastatin works. Examples include colchicine, cyclosporine, gemfibrozil, telaprevir, telithromycin, tipranavir plus ritonavir, certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole), among others.
Do not take any red yeast rice products while you are taking ezetimibe/atorvastatin because some red yeast rice products may also contain a statin called lovastatin. Taking ezetimibe/atorvastatin and red yeast rice products together can increase your risk of serious muscle and liver problems.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store unused medication in the original foil pouch at room temperature. Do not open the foil pouch until you are ready to use it. After the pouch is opened, protect the medication from light and moisture by keeping it in the plastic case if provided. Throw away any unused medication 30 days after the pouch is opened. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised August 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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