Ezetimibe is used to treat high cholesterol and a rare genetic condition known as sitosterolemia. The medication, which belongs to a class of drugs called cholesterol absorption inhibitors, works in the digestive tract by blocking the absorption of cholesterol from foods that you eat. It comes in tablet form and is typically taken once a day. Commonly reported side effects include diarrhea, joint pain, and sinus infection.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with ezetimibe; however, not everyone who takes it will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate the drug well. In most cases, if side effects do occur, they are minor and can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
Upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold).
Also, keep in mind that if you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if they are accompanied by a fever or if you feel ill), it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Zetia and Muscle Pain).
(Click Side Effects of Ezetimibe to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Zetia [package insert]. North Wales, PA: Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals;2008 June.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 24, 2008.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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