Vytorin is a combination of ezetimibe (Zetia) and simvastatin (Zocor) that is used for treating high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Vytorin reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol while it increases high density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol. The ezetimibe component of Vytorin lowers blood cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol, including dietary cholesterol, from the intestine. It does not affect the absorption of triglycerides. The simvastatin component of Vytorin belongs to a class of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, commonly called “statins.” Statins reduce cholesterol by blocking an enzyme in the liver (HMG-CoA reductase) that produces cholesterol. Statins lower total and LDL cholesterol in the blood as well as triglycerides. They also increase HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is believed to be an important cause of coronary artery disease. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels slows and may even reverse coronary artery disease. Raising HDL cholesterol levels also may slow coronary artery disease. The FDA approved Vytorin in July 2004.
Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) comes as a tablet that’s taken by mouth. The active drugs in Vytorin are ezetimibe and simvastatin. Vytorin tablets are available in four strengths, which are given in milligrams (mg):
10 mg/10 mg (10 mg of ezetimibe/10 mg of simvastatin)
10 mg/20 mg (10 mg of ezetimibe/20 mg of simvastatin)
10 mg/40 mg (10 mg of ezetimibe/40 mg of simvastatin)
10 mg/80 mg (10 mg of ezetimibe/80 mg of simvastatin).
BEFORE YOU TAKE THE MEDICATION
You should not use Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) if you are allergic to simvastatin (Zocor) or ezetimibe (Zetia), or if you have: active liver disease; or abnormal liver function tests. Do not use it if you are pregnant. This medicine can harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor at once if you become pregnant. Ezetimibe and simvastatin can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. This happens more often in women, in older adults, in people of Chinese descent, and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Other medicines may increase your risk of serious muscle problems if you take them together with Vytorin. Do not take these medicines at the same time: cyclosporine; danazol; gemfibrozil; nefazodone; an antibiotic – clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin; antifungal medication – itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole; hepatitis C medications – boceprevir, telaprevir; or HIV/AIDS medication – atazanavir, cobicistat, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, tipranavir. Your doses of certain other medicines may need to be adjusted while you are taking Vytorin. This includes: amiodarone or dronedarone; amlodipine (sometimes in combination medicines – Azor, Caduet, Consensi, Exforge, Lotrel, Prestalia, Twynsta, Tribenzor); colchicine; diltiazem, verapamil; fenofibrate, fenofibric acid; lomitapide; ranolazine; or medicines that contain niacin, nicotinic acid, or vitamin B3, such as Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others. Tell your doctor if you have ever had: unexplained weakness or muscle pain; a thyroid disorder; liver or kidney disease; liver problems caused by alcohol; a habit of drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day; or if you are older than 65. Vytorin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 10 years old. This medicine should not be given to a girl who has not yet had menstrual periods.
HOW TO USE
Take this Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the evening. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). The usual maximum dose for the simvastatin in this medication is 40 milligrams a day. If you have been instructed by your doctor to take more than 40 milligrams of simvastatin, continue on that same dose. However, promptly talk with him or her about the risks and benefits of your higher dose. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take this product at least 2 hours before or at least 4 hours after taking these medications. These medications can react with this product, preventing its full absorption. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick. It is very important to continue to follow your doctor’s advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin): hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have: unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness; muscle weakness in your hips, shoulders, neck, and back; trouble lifting your arms, trouble climbing or standing; fever, unusual tiredness; upper stomach pain, loss of appetite; dark colored urine; or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Common Vytorin side effects may include: headache; muscle pain; abnormal liver function tests; diarrhea; or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.
Will I need to take Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) long term?
Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) is meant to be taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Vytorin is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term. However, if you’re taking Vytorin 10 mg/80 mg, the length of your treatment may depend on whether you have certain side effects. This is because compared with lower doses, Vytorin 10 mg/80 mg is more likely to cause muscle problems (such as muscle pain and weakness). For this reason, you can only continue to take Vytorin 10 mg/80 mg* if you’ve taken this dosage for at least 12 months and you haven’t had muscle problems.
Will Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) make me lose or gain weight?
No, Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) isn’t known to affect body weight. Taking it won’t help you to lose weight. And weight gain wasn’t reported in clinical studies of Vytorin. While you’re taking Vytorin, make sure to follow the low-cholesterol diet and exercise plan recommended by your healthcare provider. If you have concerns or questions about your weight, talk with your doctor. They can help you manage a weight that’s healthy for you.
Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) used along with a proper diet to help lower “bad” cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise “good” cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. Ezetimibe works by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from your diet. Simvastatin belongs to a group of drugs known as “statins.” It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details. Lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and raising “good” cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Honeybee Pharmacy is a prescription referral service in Canada which helped millions of Americans to have access to approved and affordable medications. Honeybee Pharmacy not only sells human medications but also PetMeds. HBP was created for Americans. Check out our website and buy online at www.honeybeepharmacy.com.
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