Vytorin, also known generically as ezetimibe-simvastatin, is used with a proper diet, exercise, weight loss and tobacco cessation to help lower “bad” cholesterol and fats and raise “good” cholesterol in the blood.
The drug reduces the amount of cholesterol made by the liver and absorbed in the human body from the diet. It belongs to a class of drugs known as “statins”.
Patients are cautioned not to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking Vytorin without consulting the doctor. Grapefruit increases the amount of the drug in the bloodstream.
When taking other cholesterol-lowering drugs such as bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol, they are asked to take Vytorin at least two hours before or four hours afterward. The drugs can prevent its full absorption into the human body.
Rare side effects include mild memory problems or confusions; muscle problems such as rhabdomyolysis or autoimmune myopathy, which may include muscle pain/tenderness/weakness and a change in the amount of urine; liver problem, which may include yellow eyes and skin, dark urine, sharp stomach pain and persistent vomiting; and allergies.
Patients are urged to notify their doctors of their medical histories, especially with liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use and all drugs taken, especially having surgery.
(NOTE: PharmPsych.com is featuring the first 10 of 200 of the most common prescription medicine brands reflected in Google’s app for Rx drug flash cards. The flash cards and the app were developed as visual aids to instruct medical students on modern drugs. In a series of summaries, we recap the purpose and nature of each drug, its side effects and advice on usage. The series will feature Lipitor, Singulair, Lexapro, Nexium, Synthroid, Plavix, Toprol XL, Prevacid, Vytorin and Advair Diskus.)
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Last updated September 2014