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What Is Ezetimibe/Simvastatin Used For?

The primary uses for ezetimibe/simvastatin are the treatment of high cholesterol and high triglycerides. The combination drug contains a statin and a cholesterol absorption inhibitor, medications that can increase "good" cholesterol and decrease "bad" cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. The medication is not approved for children at this time, nor are there any off-label uses.

Ezetimibe/Simvastatin Uses: An Overview

Ezetimibe/simvastatin (Vytorin®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat several conditions. These approved uses for ezetimibe/simvastatin are as follows:
 
  • Treatment of hyperlipidemia, including:
 
    • High total cholesterol
    • High LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
    • High triglycerides
    • High Apo B cholesterol (another "bad" cholesterol)
    • Low HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)
 
  • Treatment of heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (a genetic form of high cholesterol).  
     

How Does Ezetimibe/Simvastatin Work?

As the name implies, ezetimibe/simvastatin combines two other medicines: simvastatin and ezetimibe. Simvastatin is part of a class of drugs called statins. Simvastatin works by blocking a particular enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. This causes the liver to make less cholesterol. It also increases the liver's ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol.
 
Ezetimibe is part of a class of drugs called cholesterol absorption inhibitors. It blocks the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines into the blood. By doing this, less cholesterol enters the body. It is unique in that it works just at the "brush border" of the small intestine. Because less cholesterol is delivered from the digestive tract to the liver (which depletes the liver's stores of cholesterol), the liver reacts by taking cholesterol out from the blood, which reduces blood cholesterol levels.
 
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Ezetimibe and Simvastatin Drug Information

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