Zetia Review Article
Zetia is a medicine used to lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. It is used for patients who cannot control their cholesterol levels by diet alone. It can be used by itself or with certain other medicines to treat high cholesterol.
Zetia generic (generic - what is it?)
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Zetia (Generic name: Ezetimibe) belongs to a family of drugs that are most commonly used to lower blood cholesterol known as statins. These groups of drugs lower level of cholesterol in the blood through preventing cholesterol from being produced by the liver. Zetia however acts in a different manner; it decreases blood cholesterol by decreasing the amount absorbed out of the intestine.
This drug received approval of the FDA in October of 2002. Like other statins Zetia can be used to help lower the blood cholesterol although it uses a different mechanism. Unlike other statins Zetia lowers the blood cholesterol level through lowering the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed into the blood stream from the intestine while other statins do this by reducing the production of cholesterol produced by the liver. The absorption of triglycerides or vitamins which are soluble in fat is unaffected.
How to Take
Zetia is either prescribed to be used alone or combined with other statins for increased effectiveness where required. Although for those with existing liver disease, a combination of Zetia and other statins should not be recommended. It is required for lowering blood cholesterol. Zetia is available as 10 mg tablets which can be taken orally and the dose usually recommended is a tablet per day to be taken regardless of meal times alongside other statins. This drug is often prescribed to patients for whom diet does not suffice in lowering blood cholesterol and an alternative means is required. Although Zetia aids the body in reducing levels of cholesterol it should not be used as a complete substitute for weight loss therefore it should be complemented with adequate diet.
Certain drugs may interact with Zetia leading to an increase in the chances and severity of side effects therefore before taking Zetia inform your doctor of any drugs you are using. For instance Cyclosporine may cause a rise in the level of Zetia in the blood and this could increase the severity of side effects. Other drugs for treating increased cholesterol levels may also attach to Zetia thereby affecting its absorption. To avoid this enough time interval (about 2 hours) should be allowed between taking the different drugs.
Possible Side Effects
Patients are relatively tolerant of Zetia therefore very few side effects are reported. The most common side effects associated with Zetia include: abdominal, back and joint pain, Diarrhoea and sinusitis. While rarer side effects include allergic reactions such as possibly life threatening case of angioedema and skin rash. There have also been some reports of muscle damage, nausea, hepatitis and pancreatitis.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding
There are insufficient studies to validate the effect of this drug when used in pregnant women or nursing mothers therefore it is suggested that this drug should only be used for these groups where it is deemed necessary and the risk to the child against the benefit of its usage to the mother in the absence of other options has been considered. Furthermore if you are planning to get pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant while taking this medicine, inform your doctor as soon as possible.
Zetia generic equivalent ezetimibe is a brand name medication which reduces the amount of cholesterol or other sterols that the body absorbs from diet. Reducing cholesterol helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin (Zocor), ezetimibe and atorvastatin (Lipitor) along with a low cholesterol/low fat diet to help lower cholesterol in the blood.
Like all medicines, Zetia also have side effects. Dizziness, headache, diarrhea, back pain are some of them. Serious side effects like chest pain, fatigue, stomach pain may also occur. It is strictly recommended to consult doctor immediately if any of the side effects gets worsened.
This drug can very rarely cause muscle damage. In case, muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness) is observed it is again recommended to consult doctor. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but immediate medical attention is necessary if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat) and trouble breathing.
The recommended dose of Ezetimibe 10 mg once daily. Zetia can be administered with or without food. If bile acid sequestrant (e.g., cholestyramine, colestipol) is also taken in parallel, then Zetia should be consumed at least 2 hours before or at least 4 hours after the bile acid sequestrant.
It may take up to 2 weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. Use of ezetimibe medication regularly will be helpful in order to get the most benefit from it. If consumed at the same time each day would be beneficial.
Before consuming Zetia, it is recommended to consult doctor or pharmacist if patient is allergic to it or have any other allergies or is suffering from active liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, overactive thyroid. Ezetimibe medication should not be used along with a statin agent if patient has certain medical conditions. It should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk.
If overdose is suspected, the local poison control center or emergency room should be contacted immediately. If a dose is missed, it is advised to consume it as soon as it is remembered. If it is near the time of the next dose, the missed one should be skip and the usual dosing schedule should be resume and strictly not to double the dose to catch up.
Ezetimibe cancer link is still not clear. More time is needed to assess the drug, so for the meantime patients and doctors will have to live with the uncertainty.
Zetia Review Article