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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ezetimibe (Zetia)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ezetimibe, or if you have liver disease.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:
In rare cases, cholesterol-lowering medication can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. This condition can lead to kidney failure. Call your doctor at once if you have unexplained muscle pain or tenderness, muscle weakness, fever or flu symptoms, and dark colored urine.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether ezetimibe is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether ezetimibe passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.
How should I take ezetimibe (Zetia)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Ezetimibe is usually taken once a day, with or without food. Try to take ezetimibe at the same time each day.
Some cholesterol medications should not be taken at the same time. Do not take ezetimibe with cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran), colestipol (Colestid), or colesevelam (Welchol). Wait at least 4 hours after taking any of these medicines before you take ezetimibe. You may also take ezetimibe 2 hours before taking any of these other medicines.
Ezetimibe may be taken at the same time with fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen, Lofibra, TriCor, Triglide), or with any of the "statin" drugs such as lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), fluvastatin (Lescol), or atorvastatin (Lipitor).
It may take up to 2 weeks of using this medicine before your cholesterol levels improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Your cholesterol will need to be measured using blood tests at regular intervals. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Ezetimibe is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store ezetimibe at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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