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. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily with or without food. 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. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.