What Ezetimibe is and what it is used for
• Ezetimibe is a medicine to lower increased levels of cholesterol. Ezetimibe lowers levels of total cholesterol, "bad" cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and fatty substances called triglycerides in the blood. In addition, Ezetimibe raises levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL cholesterol). Ezetimibe, the active ingredient of Ezetimibe tablets, works by reducing the cholesterol absorbed in your digestive tract.
• Ezetimibe adds to the cholesterol-lowering effect of statins; a group of medicines that reduce the cholesterol your body makes by itself.
• Cholesterol is one of several fatty substances found in the bloodstream. Your total cholesterol is made up mainly of LDL and HDL cholesterol.
• LDL cholesterol is often called “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of your arteries forming plaque. Eventually this plaque build-up can lead to a narrowing of the arteries. This narrowing can slow or block blood flow to vital organs such as the heart and brain. This blocking of blood flow can result in a heart attack or stroke.
• HDL cholesterol is often called “good” cholesterol because it helps keep the bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries and protects against heart disease.
• Triglycerides are another form of fat in your blood that may increase your risk for heart disease.
• Ezetimibe is used for patients who cannot control their cholesterol levels by cholesterol lowering diet alone.
• You should stay on your cholesterol lowering diet while taking this medicine.
Ezetimibe is used in addition to your cholesterol lowering diet if you have:
• a raised cholesterol level in your blood (primary hypercholesterolaemia [heterozygous familial and non-familial]). It may be used on its own, when statin treatment is inappropriate or is not tolerated or together with a statin when your cholesterol level is not well controlled with a statin alone
• a hereditary illness that increases the cholesterol level in your blood (known as (homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia). You will also be prescribed a statin and may also receive other treatments
• If you have heart disease, Ezetimibe combined with cholesterol-lowering medicines called statins reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, surgery to increase heart blood flow, or hospitalisation for chest pain.
Ezetimibe does not help you lose weight
What you need to know before you use Ezetimibe
Do not use Ezetimibe
Tell your doctor if you:
• if you are allergic to Ezetimibe or any other ingredient of this medicine
Warnings and precautions
You should let your doctor know:
• If you have moderate or severe liver problems, Ezetimibe is not recommended.
• The combined use of Ezetimibe and fibrates (medicines for lowering cholesterol) should be avoided since its safety and effectiveness has not been established.
Other medicines and Ezetimibe
Tell the doctor or pharmacist if you you are taking any of the following:
• ciclosporin (often used in organ transplant patients)
• medicines with an active ingredient to prevent blood clots, such as warfarin, phenprocoumon, acenocoumarol or fluindione (anticoagulants)
• colestyramine (also used to lower cholesterol), because it affects the way ezetimibe works
• fibrates (also used to lower cholesterol)
How to use Ezetimibe
Always take Ezetimibe exactly as your doctor has told you. Continue taking your other cholesterol lowering medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Before starting Ezetimibe, you should be on a diet to lower your cholesterol.
You should keep on this cholesterol lowering diet whilst taking Ezetimibe.
The recommended dose is one Ezetimibe 10 mg Tablet by mouth once a day.
Take Ezetimibe at any time of the day. You can take it with or without food.
If your doctor has prescribed Ezetimibe along with a statin, both medicines can be taken at the same time. In this case, please read the dosage instructions in the package leaflet of that particular medicine.
If your doctor has prescribed Ezetimibe along with any medicine containing colestyramine, colestipol or colesevelam, you should take Ezetimibe at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking the other medicine.
Possible side effects
Stop using the product and seek immediate medical attention if
• difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of face, lips, throat or tongue, skin rash
• unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.
How to store Ezetimibe
• Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
• Do not use this medicine after the expiry date stated on the labelling after “EXP.” The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
• This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
• For bottle packs only: use within 200 days after first opening of the bottle.