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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Ezetimibe

Why is this medication prescribed?

Ezetimibe is used with diet changes (restriction of cholesterol and fat intake) to reduce the amount of cholesterol and certain fatty substances in the blood. It may be used alone or in combination with an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin). Ezetimibe is in a class of medications called cholesterol-lowering medications. It works by preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. Buildup of cholesterol and fats along the walls of the blood vessels (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and, therefore, the oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. Lowering blood levels of cholesterol and fats may help to prevent heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks.

How should this medicine be used?

Ezetimibe comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. To help you remember to take ezetimibe, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ezetimibe exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Continue to take ezetimibe even if you feel well. Do not stop taking ezetimibe without talking to your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking ezetimibe,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ezetimibe or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), fenofibrate (TriCor), and gemfibrozil (Lopid). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • if you are taking cholestyramine (Questran), colesevelam (WellChol), or colestipol (Colestid), take it 4 hours before or 2 hours after ezetimibe.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking ezetimibe, call your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Eat a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet. This kind of diet includes cottage cheese, fat-free milk, fish (not canned in oil), vegetables, poultry, egg whites, and polyunsaturated oils and margarines (corn, safflower, canola, and soybean oils). Avoid foods with excess fat in them such as meat (especially liver and fatty meat), egg yolks, whole milk, cream, butter, shortening, lard, pastries, cakes, cookies, gravy, peanut butter, chocolate, olives, potato chips, coconut, cheese (other than cottage cheese), coconut oil, palm oil, and fried foods.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ezetimibe may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptom is uncommon, but if you experience it, call your doctor immediately:

  • chest pain

Ezetimibe may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests before and during treatment to check your body's response to ezetimibe.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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