Ezetimibe is used along with a low cholesterol/low fat diet and exercise to help lower cholesterol in the blood. Ezetimibe may be used alone or with other drugs (such as "statins" or fibrates). Ezetimibe works by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from your diet. Reducing cholesterol may help prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking ezetimibe and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
If taking a bile acid sequestrant (such as cholestyramine, colestipol), take ezetimibe at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking the bile acid sequestrant. These products may bind to ezetimibe, 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 do not feel sick. It may take up to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
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.
This drug may increase the risk of liver damage (when taken with a "statin") or muscle damage when taken with a fibrate or "statin". Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: signs of liver problems (such as severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness).
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 ezetimibe, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; 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.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
One product that may interact with this drug is: cyclosporine.
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 cholesterol levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress. When ezetimibe is given with a statin agent, liver function tests should be performed to monitor for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use 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 at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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