Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Zetia

(Ezetimibe)

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Lowers cholesterol.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Zetia can improve your cholesterol, but it doesn't reduce heart attacks or heart disease, and it's expensive compared to other cholesterol-lowering medicines.

Worth it?Is it worth it?
Works well?Does it work?
Hassle?Is it a hassle?
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Can be used with other medicines to improve cholesterol.
  • Available in a combination pill with simvastatin.
  • Doesn't lower triglycerides (fats).
  • Hasn't been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks or heart disease.
  • By itself, Zetia is not as effective as statins for improving cholesterol.
  • There's no generic available, so it can be expensive.

Save on your next Zetia (Ezetimibe) prescription

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Side effects for Zetia (Ezetimibe)

From clinical trials of Zetia / High cholesterol ( 3555)

  • DiarrheaDiarrhea4% for Zetia vs.4% for placebo
  • Ear, nose, or throat infectionEar, nose, or throat infection4% for Zetia vs.3% for placebo
  • Sinus inflammationSinus inflammation3% for Zetia vs.2% for placebo
  • ArthtralgiaArthtralgia3% for Zetia vs.2% for placebo
  • Pain in extremityPain in extremity3% for Zetia vs.3% for placebo
  • FatigueFatigue2% for Zetia vs.2% for placebo
  • FluFlu2% for Zetia vs.2% for placebo

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Abdominal pain
  • Deep skin swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Elevated creatine phosphokinase
  • Elevations in liver transaminases
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Gallstones
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Joint pain
  • Liver inflammation
  • Low mood disorder
  • Muscle disease
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Rash
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Tingling sensation

What to expect when you take Zetia (Ezetimibe)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Lowers bad cholesterol, and raises good cholesterol.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop bone or muscle pain.
  • Can be used with other medications to lower cholesterol.
  • May cause diarrhea or raise your chance of getting colds.

Risks and Warnings for Zetia (Ezetimibe)

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  • Talk to your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant or are pregnant, as Zetia (Ezetimibe) can cause birth defects up to death of the fetus. Your doctor will discuss alternatives for you.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Zetia (Ezetimibe)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Kidneys & liver
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • People on Zetia (Ezetimibe) while taking statins have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain or weakness or fever and you don't know why.