ZETIA, or ezetimibe, is an oral tablet that helps to inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and other phytosterols. It is used in patients to treat high cholesterol. ZETIA will sometimes be given with other cholesterol-lowering medications.

ZETIA is best used as part of an overall treatment plan for lowering cholesterol levels, which includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Patients need to ensure they follow their treatment plans very closely to see results.

Some cholesterol medications cannot be taken at the same time. For example, ezetimibe cannot be taken with cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran), colesevelam (Welchol), or colestipol (Colestid). Patients should wait at least four hours after taking any of these medications before taking ezetimibe. Ezetimibe can be taken two hours before taking any of these other medications.

The medications that can be taken with ezetimibe include fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen, Lofibra, TriCor, and Triglide) and the statins such as lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), and cerivastatin (Baycol).

There are many side effects that can occur when taking ZETIA. You should talk to your doctor or get medical help immediately if you experience any of these side effects. The side effects of ZETIA include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (the yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Unusual muscle weakness, tenderness, or pain
  • Fever, sore throat, and headache
  • Severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
  • Pancreatitis, which is severe pain in your upper stomach that spreads to your back, causes nausea and vomiting and a fast heart rate

The less serious side effects include:

  • Mild stomach pain, diarrhea
  • Numbness or tingly feeling
  • Tired feeling
  • Dizziness
  • A headache
  • Depressed¬†mood
  • A cough
  • Joint pain, back pain
  • A runny or stuffy nose; other cold symptoms

This is not a complete list of side effects. Speak to your doctor for medical advice.

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