ezetimibe, Zetia (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

DOSING: The recommended dose of ezetimibe is 10 mg daily. Ezetimibe can be taken with or without food and at the same time as statin drugs.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid) and colesevelam (WelChol), bile acid-binding drugs that may be used to treat elevated levels of cholesterol, bind to ezetimibe and reduce its absorption from the intestine by about 50%. Therefore, ezetimibe should be taken at least two hours before or 4 hours after administration of these drugs. Cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral) increases the levels of ezetimibe while ezetimibe increases levels of cyclosporine. Combining both drugs may increase side effects of either drug.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of ezetimibe in pregnant women. Therefore, physicians must weight the benefit of prescribing ezetimibe during pregnancy against potential but unknown risks.

NURSING MOTHERS: There are no adequate studies of ezetimibe in women who are breastfeeding. Therefore, physicians must weight the benefit of prescribing ezetimibe to nursing women against potential but unknown risks.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of ezetimibe are diarrhea, abdominal pain, back pain, joint pain, muscle aches, and sinusitis. Hypersensitivity reactions, including angioedema (swelling of the skin and underlying tissues of the head and neck that can be life-threatening) and skin rash rarely occur. Nausea, pancreatitis, muscle damage (myopathy or rhabdomyolysis) and hepatitis have been reported in post-marketing studies.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 3/22/2012



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