Vytorin (Ezetimibe/Simvastatin) is used for reducing total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides and for increasing HDL cholesterol.
Vytorin is available in a 20 mg dosage ( 10 mg of ezetimibe and 10 mg of simvastatin) and in a 30 mg dosage (10 mg of ezetimibe, and 20 mg of simvastatin).
How to take
The recommended dose range of Vytorin is 10/10 mg to 10/80 mg, and it is administered once daily in the evening with or with out food. Therapy usually is initiated with 10/20 mg daily, but individuals who need more than a 55% reduction in LDL cholesterol can be started on 10/40 mg daily.
Drug Class and Mechanism
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 cholesterol while it increases high density lipoprotein 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. Vytorin was approved by the FDA in July, 2004.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Vytorin should be stored at room temperature, 20-25 degrees C (68-77 degrees F).
Before taking ezetimibe/simvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you think you are allergic to it; or to other drugs called "statins"; or if you have any other allergies. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: active liver disease. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease, history of liver disease, kidney disease, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), poorly controlled diabetes, alcohol use. Developing severe muscle damage, which is rare, can sometimes lead to serious kidney problems (see the Side Effects section in this handout). This medication is usually temporarily stopped if you have any condition which can increase your risk of developing kidney problems. Before you stop taking your medication, notify your doctor immediately if you have any of the following conditions: major surgery, trauma, serious illness (e.g., sepsis or severe metabolic, endocrine, or electrolyte disorders), very low blood pressure, uncontrolled seizures. Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your chance for serious side effects. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially muscle damage. This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is recommended that young girls and women of child-bearing age use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug. One of these drugs (simvastatin) may cause harm to your unborn child. It is not known if either drug passes into breast milk. A drug similar to simvastatin passes into breast milk, and because of this drug's potential risk of undesirable effects on a nursing infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using ezetimibe/simvastatin. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Possible Side Effects
Headache may occur. If this effect persists or worsens, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. This drug can sometimes cause muscle damage. Although uncommon, this may lead to very serious muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis, which in rare cases can be fatal. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine, severe fatigue, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea, change in the amount of urine. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood cholesterol levels, liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. For best results, this product should be used along with exercise, a low-cholesterol or low-fat diet, and a weight-loss program if you are overweight. Also to help reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes, check your blood pressure regularly, seek medical treatment if your blood pressure is high, and stop smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.