Your doctor may recommend Zetia for kinds of high cholesterol. It’s a brand-name prescription drug that can be used in adults and some children.

Specifically, Zetia can be used with a low cholesterol diet to treat:

Your doctor may recommend taking Zetia by itself or with other cholesterol medications. For more information, see “What is Zetia used for?” below.

Zetia basics

You can take a tablet by mouth. It belongs to a group of drugs called intestinal cholesterol blockers (drugs that block your intestines from absorbing cholesterol).

The active drug in Zetia is ezetimibe. This drug is also available in generic form.

The cost, dosage, and more are included in this information.

Mild or serious side effects may occur with the drug. Some of the more common side effects of Zetia are described in the lists below. All possible side effects are not included in these lists.

Side effects of a drug can depend on other factors.

  • Your age.
  • You have other health conditions.
  • You take other drugs.

The doctor or the pharmacy can tell you more about the side effects of Zetia. They can suggest ways to reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a short list of some of the mild side effects of Zetia that have been reported. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Zetia’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects of Zetia may be taken alone.

Mild side effects of Zetia when taken with a statin (another kind of cholesterol-lowering drug) may include:

  • infection, such as a respiratory infection or cold
  • There is a lot of There is a lot of diarrhea..
  • There is a throbbing head.
  • muscle cramps or pain*
  • Joint pain

The side effects of many drugs can be gone in a few days. If they become intolerable, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

The side effect focus section gives more information about this side effect.

Serious side effects

There are serious side effects from Zetia, but they are not common. If you have serious side effects from Zetia, you should call your doctor. If you think you have a medical emergency, call the emergency number.

There have been serious side effects of Zetia.

The information about these side effects can be found in the side effect focus.

Side effect focus

Some of the side effects of Zetia can be found here.

Liver damage

It’s possible to develop increased liver enzyme levels if you’re taking Zetia with a statin medication. Increased liver enzymes may be a sign of liver damage. But taking Zetia by itself isn’t known to increase your risk of liver damage,.

Symptoms of liver damage may include:

What can help?

If you are taking a statin, your doctor will check your liver function before you start treatment. They recommend certain blood tests to monitor your health during treatment.

If you notice any symptoms of liver damage, tell your doctor right away. They’ll likely have you get other blood tests to check your liver enzyme levels. They may also recommend a different treatment option for your cholesterol.

Joint pain

Joint pain can develop if you’re taking Zetia by itself or with a statin. This was one of the most common side effects reported in studies.

What can help?

If you have joint pain that is not manageable, talk to your doctor. They may suggest a different treatment for your symptoms.

Muscle problems, such as muscle cramps

If you are taking a statin or taking Zetia alone, you may develop muscle problems.

These problems are usually mild, such as mild pain or cramping. But muscle problems with Zetia can be severe and may lead to a serious condition called rhabdomyolysis. This refers to the breakdown of your muscle tissue.

If you have a serious muscle problem, you may have an increased risk.

  • Are you taking a high dose of statin?
  • Are you 65 years old?
  • have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland)
  • have kidney problems
  • Taking other medications can cause muscle problems.

What can help?

“Your doctor will watch you for muscle problems during your cholesterol treatment. They may recommend that you have a blood test to make sure your cholesterol treatment isn’t causing problems.”

Tell your doctor if you have any muscle symptoms. They may recommend a different treatment for you.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Zetia. It isn’t known how often this side effect occurred in studies.

A mild allergic reaction can include some symptoms.

  • There is a skin rash.
  • It is itchy.
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is not uncommon. A severe allergic reaction can cause swelling under your skin, which can be seen in your eyes, lips, hands, and feet. They can include swelling of your mouth, throat, and tongue, which can cause trouble breathing.

If you have an allergic reaction to Zetia, call your doctor. If you think you have a medical emergency, call the emergency number.

Find answers to questions about the woman.

How does Zetia work? And how long does it stay in your system?

Zetia is prescribed to lower cholesterol. Its mechanism of action (the way the drug works) is to block your intestines from absorbing cholesterol. Since the cholesterol isn’t being absorbed, your body can focus on getting rid of extra cholesterol in your blood.

Most of the dose is removed from the body in 22 hours. It can take up to 5 days for the drug to be removed from your system.

If you have questions about how Zetia works or how long it lasts, you can talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Are there foods to avoid while I’m taking Zetia?

Your doctor will likely recommend that you eat a diet low in cholesterol while your high cholesterol is being treated. Food does not seem to affect how Zetia is absorbed into your body or the way that the medication works. But eating a low cholesterol diet with Zetia can help keep your cholesterol levels low.

But if you are taking Zetia with a statin, you should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Grapefruit can block your body’s ability to break down the statin. This can cause the drug to build up in your body and may increase your risk of side effects.

If you have questions about foods to avoid during treatment, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Does Zetia cause memory loss, weight gain, hair loss, or constipation?

No, Zetia is not known to cause memory loss, weight gain, hair loss, or constipation. In studies of people taking the medication with or without a statin drug, these side effects were not reported.

If you are having memory loss, weight gain, hair loss, or other symptoms, talk to your doctor about what is causing it.

How does Zetia compare with statins?

Zetia and statin drugs are both prescribed to lower cholesterol. In fact, your doctor may recommend taking Zetia along with a statin. These drugs work in different ways to lower cholesterol.

Statins and Zetia are usually taken as a daily pill. Statin drugs include:

If you’re interested in learning more about how Zetia and certain statins compare, see the “Zetia vs. Lipitor” and “Zetia vs. Crestor” sections below. If you have more questions about Zetia in comparison with a statin drug, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Are there side effects from stopping Zetia?

If you stop taking Zetia, your cholesterol levels will likely increase. This is because Zetia works to lower cholesterol.

Though you may not notice a difference in how you feel, stopping cholesterol medication can increase your risk of serious problems. These include heart attack and stroke.

If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Will I have high blood pressure, raised blood sugar, or erectile dysfunction with Zetia?

No, Zetia is not known to cause high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or erectile dysfunction (ED). These were not side effects reported in studies of people taking Zetia.

If you have high blood pressure, high blood sugar or diabetes, or ED, talk with your doctor about the best treatment options for you.

Is Zetia a blood thinner?

No, Zetia is not a blood thinner. Although this medication helps get rid of high cholesterol in your blood, it does not thin your blood.

If you’re taking warfarin (a blood thinner) and Zetia, you may have blood tests to monitor your blood’s ability to clot more often when taking warfarin by itself. Your doctor might also adjust your warfarin dose while you’re taking Zetia.

If you need to take a blood thinner, your doctor can recommend a treatment plan.

Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Zetia that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Zetia form

You can take a tablet by mouth.

Zetia strength: 10 mg

The strength of zetia is 10.

Recommended dosage

You will take it once a day. You can take this medication with or without food.

Questions about Zetia’s dosage

  • What if I miss a dose of Zetia? If you miss a dose of Zetia, take it as soon as you remember. But you should not take more than one dose of Zetia a day.
  • Will I need to take Zetia long term? Yes, if Zetia works for you, your doctor will likely recommend that you take it long term.
  • How long does Zetia take to work? It may take about 2 weeks for Zetia to work to lower your cholesterol. But even if the medication is working, you may not notice a difference in how you feel. It’s important to continue taking Zetia as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will do blood tests to monitor how well Zetia is working for you.

Zetia is prescribed to treat certain kinds of high cholesterol, along with a low cholesterol diet. It’s prescribed for adults and in children ages 10 years and older.

Your body needs some cholesterol to make essential vitamins and hormones. But having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. This can lead to serious problems such as a heart attack or stroke.

For children, Zetia is not prescribed with other cholesterol drugs. For adults, your doctor may prescribe another cholesterol-lowering drug along with Zetia.

The prescribed treatment is called Zetia.

  • Primary hyperlipidemia. This is a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. For this use, your doctor might also prescribe a statin (another kind of cholesterol-lowering drug). For primary hyperlipidemia, Zetia works to lower:
    • Total cholesterol.
    • Apolipoprotein-B is a cholesterol-making molecule.
  • Mixed hyperlipidemia. This is a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol and high triglycerides (a kind of fat in your blood). You’ll take Zetia with fenofibrate (Antara) for this condition. For this use, Zetia works to lower:
    • Total cholesterol.
    • The cholesterol level is low.
    • Apo-B.
    • Non-HDL cholesterol is not high.
    • If taken with fenofibrate.
  • Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH). This is a genetic condition that causes high levels of The cholesterol level is low.. Your doctor will prescribe either simvastatin (Zocor) or atorvastatin (Lipitor) with Zetia for HoFH. For this use, Zetia works to lower:
    • Total cholesterol.
    • The cholesterol level is low.
  • Homozygous sitosterol is a drug.emia. This is a condition in which your body can’t break down plant sterols (a kind of fat found in nuts, vegetables, and fruits). Over time, plant sterols can build up in your body, which increases your risk of heart disease. For There are two types of sitosterol is a drug.emia., Zetia lowers levels of:
    • sitosterol is a drug.
    • Campesterol is a drug.

Zetia works by blocking your intestines from absorbing cholesterol (and similar fats). Since the cholesterol isn’t being absorbed, your body can get rid of extra cholesterol in your blood. This lowers your cholesterol levels, which helps lower your risk of heart disease and related problems.

There are some limitations to use.

  • It’s not known if Zetia may affect how likely cardiovascular disease (a condition relating to the heart and blood vessels) or related illness is to occur.
  • It’s also unknown if Zetia is an effective treatment for Fredrickson Type I, III, IV, and V dyslipidemias. These are rare forms of high cholesterol. If you have any of these conditions, talk with your doctor about treatment options.

Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. Keep in mind that the drug’s cost with Medicare or other insurance plans may vary.

Zetia is available as the generic drug ezetimibe. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name drug. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs. Talk with your doctor if you’d like to know about taking generic ezetimibe.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Zetia manufacturer’s website to see if they have support options.

You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.

Your doctor will explain how to take it. They will explain how much to take and how often. Follow their instructions.

Taking Zetia

The daily take of the tablets is by mouth. You can take it with or without food.

Note: If you’re also taking a kind of medication called a bile acid sequestrant, you should take Zetia either 2 hours before or 4 hours after the other drug. Bile acid sequestrants are drugs that help your body get rid of bile acid, a waste product of cholesterol breakdown. Examples include cholestyramine (Questran) and colesevelam is a drug..

Accessible medication containers and labels

“If you can’t read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies may provide medication labels.”

  • Have a large print.
  • Use the blind.
  • You can use a code on a phone to change the text into audio.

“If your current pharmacy doesn’t offer these options, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a new pharmacy.”

“If you have trouble opening your bottles, please let your doctor know. They may be able to put it in a container. The drug’s container may be easier to open with the help of your pharmacist.”

Taking Zetia with other drugs

In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you take Zetia along with other medications to lower your cholesterol. (Keep in mind that Zetia is also prescribed with a low cholesterol diet.)

For primary hyperlipidemia, your doctor may prescribe Zetia by itself or with a statin. Some examples of statins include:

For homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, your doctor may prescribe Zetia along with atorvastatin or simvastatin. For Hyperlipidemia with mixed results., you’ll take Zetia with fenofibrate (Antara).

Your doctor will recommend a treatment plan.

Questions about taking Zetia

  • Can Zetia be chewed, crushed, or split? It’s not known whether it’s safe to chew, crush, or split Zetia tablets. It’s recommended that you swallow the tablets whole. If you’re having trouble swallowing Zetia tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. This article also has some tips on how to swallow pills.
  • Should I take Zetia with food? You can take your dose of Zetia with or without food.

Questions for your doctor

You may have questions about your treatment. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Here are a few tips that might help you.

  • Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
    • How will the weather affect my body?
  • Bring someone with you to your appointment to make you feel more comfortable.
  • “If you don’t understand something, ask your doctor to explain it.”

“Your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. They want you to get the best care possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or give feedback on your treatment”

You and your doctor will talk about what to expect during treatment with Zetia. You should discuss your health, any medical conditions that you have, and any medications that you take. Your doctor can help determine if the treatment is safe for you.

Interactions

Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.

Before taking Zetia, you should tell your doctor about all your medication. You should describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions that may occur.

Interactions with drugs or supplements

There are several kinds of drugs that zetia can interact with. These drugs are used.

Your doctor will likely recommend spacing out your doses if you are taking any of these drugs. Talk to them about how to take your medication.

Some drugs that may interact with Zetia are not on this list. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the interactions that may occur with Zetia.

Warnings

If you have a medical condition that affects your health, zetia may not be right for you. Before you take Zetia, talk to your doctor about your health history. The factors to consider are listed below.

  • Liver problems. If you have liver problems, talk with your doctor before taking Zetia. Taking Zetia with a statin (another kind of cholesterol-lowering drug) can cause liver problems, and can make existing liver problems worse. Your doctor may do some blood tests to determine if Zetia is safe for you to take.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Zetia or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Zetia. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Kidney problems. If you have kidney problems and you’re taking Zetia with a statin, you have an increased risk of muscle problems. Your doctor may monitor you more often than usual for muscle problems if you’re taking Zetia and a statin. If you develop any pain or muscle problems, your doctor may recommend a different treatment option for you.
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland). If you have hypothyroidism and you’re taking Zetia with a statin, you may have an increased risk of muscle problems. In some cases, muscle problems may be serious. Your doctor may monitor you more often than usual for muscle problems if you’re taking Zetia and a statin. They may recommend a different treatment option for you if you develop symptoms of this side effect.

See “What are Zetia’s side effects?” above for details about its side effects, including liver damage and muscle problems.

Zetia and alcohol

Zetia isn’t known to interact with alcohol. But alcohol can cause liver problems. If you’re taking Zetia with a statin, you have an increased risk of liver problems. Drinking alcohol may further increase this risk.

If you are interested in drinking alcohol while taking Zetia, you should talk to your doctor about how much is safe.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

“It is not known if it is safe to take during a baby’s first year of life.”

Cholesterol should not be taken during pregnancies or breastfeeding. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you take a statin.

Before starting Zetia, you should talk with your doctor about your health. They can tell you if it is safe.

You may wonder how Zetia compares with Lipitor. Zetia contains the drug ezetimibe, and Lipitor contains atorvastatin. Both drugs are prescribed to manage some kinds of high cholesterol.

To see a side-by-side comparison, check out this article. Also, be sure to check with your doctor about which drug is right for you.

If you’d like to know how Zetia and Crestor are similar and different, see this article. Ask your doctor which drug is recommended for your condition.

Zetia contains the drug ezetimibe, and Crestor contains rosuvastatin. Both drugs are prescribed to manage some kinds of high cholesterol.

Do not take more than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can cause serious side effects.

In one case of someone who took 12 times the recommended dose of Zetia, no side effects were reported. But it’s important to follow your prescribed dosage of Zetia.

What to do in case you take too much Zetia

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Zetia. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Before you start taking it, talk to your doctor about what to expect. You might want to ask about the best way to take your medicine. Some examples of these questions are included.

  • How should I manage the side effects of my medication?
  • Do my other medical conditions increase my risk of side effects?
  • What should I do if I become pregnant while taking a drug?
  • Can my doctor lower my dose if I have side effects?
  • What tests will I need during my treatment?

If you have questions about starting cholesterol treatment, this article has some tips. You can also read about other treatment options for high cholesterol.

Q:

If Zetia isn’t working well enough to lower my cholesterol, can my doctor increase my dose?

Anonymous

A:

“If the recommended daily dose of Zetia isn’t enough to manage your cholesterol, your doctor may add other medications to your treatment plan. They may consider a different cholesterol medication.”

In some cases, your doctor may consider prescribing a higher dose of Zetia off label. This means the drug’s prescribed in a way that’s not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you have questions about your cholesterol levels, you should talk to your doctor.

Dena Westphalen, PharmDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.