Zetia is a prescription medication that is used to lower levels of cholesterol and other fatty substances (triglycerides) in the blood. It falls under the class of drugs known as cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in the cells of the body. While it is necessary for normal body functioning, high levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease. Zetia works by preventing the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, reducing its levels in the bloodstream.
Do’s and Don’ts
Contraindications to taking Zetia:
- Do not take Zetia if you are allergic to ezetimibe, the active ingredient in the medication.
- Do not take Zetia if you have moderate to severe liver disease, as it may worsen your condition.
- Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as the safety of Zetia during pregnancy has not been established.
- It is important to disclose all other medications, supplements, and herbal remedies you are taking to your healthcare provider, as certain medications may interact with Zetia.
Side Effects and Solutions
Zetia may cause certain side effects. Common side effects include:
- Stomach pain
If any of these side effects become severe or bothersome, it is important to consult your healthcare provider. In rare cases, Zetia may cause allergic reactions. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
How to Take It
It is important to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider when taking Zetia. The usual recommended dose is 10 mg once daily, with or without food. The tablet should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed or chewed.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
In case of an overdose, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of overdose may include severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Zetia and Other Medications
Zetia may interact with certain medications, altering their effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. Some of the medications that may interact with Zetia include:
- Warfarin, a blood thinner
- Cyclosporine, a medication used to prevent organ rejection
- Fibrates, medications used to lower cholesterol
- Statins, medications used to lower cholesterol
It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products, before starting Zetia.
The Answers You Need
- Q: Can Zetia be used alone to treat high cholesterol?
- A: Zetia is often used in combination with other cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, for better results.
- Q: Can Zetia be used during pregnancy?
- A: The safety of Zetia during pregnancy has not been established. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
- Q: Can Zetia cause muscle pain?
- A: Muscle pain is a rare side effect of Zetia. If you experience severe or persistent muscle pain, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.
- Q: How long does it take for Zetia to lower cholesterol levels?
- A: The effect of Zetia on cholesterol levels may vary from person to person. It is important to continue taking Zetia as prescribed by your healthcare provider for the best results.
- Q: Can Zetia be taken with food?
- A: Zetia can be taken with or without food, according to your preference. However, it is important to take it consistently to maintain steady blood levels.