Ezetrol tablets contain the active ingredient ezetimibe, which is type of medicine known as a cholesterol absorption inhibitor. It is used to lower high cholesterol levels.
Ezetimibe works by preventing cholesterol and other plant sterols that are consumed in the diet from being absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream. It also prevents cholesterol released from the bile duct into the intestine from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. The overall result is a reduction in cholesterol levels in the blood.
Ezetimibe is used to lower cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels. It is normally used when another type of cholesterol-lowering medicine called a statin (for example simvastatin, atorvastatin), together with a low cholesterol diet and increased exercise, has not lowered cholesterol sufficiently. Ezetimibe is added to the statin treatment because it works in a different way to statins (which lower cholesterol by preventing its production by the liver) and so it can boost their cholesterol-lowering effect.
It is important to continue to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet and exercise regime while taking ezetimibe.
- Lowering high blood cholesterol levels (primary hypercholesterolaemia). This medicine is usually used in combination with a statin medicine, or on its own for people who can’t take a statin. A cholesterol-lowering diet should be continued.
- Lowering inherited high blood cholesterol levels (familial hypercholesterolaemia). This medicine is used in conjunction with a statin medicine and a cholesterol-lowering diet.
- A rare inherited disease with raised levels of plant sterols similar to cholesterol in the blood (homozygous sitosterolaemia or phytosterolaemia). In this case this medicine is used on its own, together with a cholesterol-lowering diet.
- One Ezetrol tablet should be taken once a day. You can take your tablet at any time of day, but if you always take it at the same time of day this will help you remember it.
- The tablet can be taken either with or without food.
- If you forget to take a dose don’t worry, just leave out that dose and take your next dose as usual. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
- You should keep taking this medicine regularly every day unless your doctor tells you to stop. This medicine is a long-term treatment that needs to be taken daily on a regular basis to help control your cholesterol. If you stop treatment your cholesterol levels will start to rise again.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Ezetrol taken on its own
Common (affect between 1 and 10 out of every 100 people)
- Abdominal pain.
- Excess gas in the stomach and intestines (flatulence).
- t is important that you continue to follow the diet and exercise advice given to you by your doctor or nurse while you are taking this medicine. This medicine only helps to control your cholesterol levels and should not be used as a substitute for eating healthily and taking regular exercise. Discuss this with your doctor.
- If you are taking this medicine with a statin you should have blood tests to monitor your liver function before starting, and regularly throughout treatment.
- This medicine may rarely have side effects on the muscles. For this reason you should inform your doctor immediately if you experience any unexplained muscular symptoms, such as pain, tenderness or weakness while taking this medicine. Your doctor may need to check for side effects on the muscles by taking a blood test to measure the level of a compound called creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) in your blood.
Not to be used in
- Rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption (Ezetrol tablets contain lactose).
- People with active liver disease (if taken with a statin).
- People with unexplained raised results in liver function tests (if taken with a statin).
- Pregnancy (if taken with a statin).
- This medicine is not recommended for people with moderate to severely decreased liver function.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
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