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 from being absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream. It prevents cholesterol and other plant sterols that are consumed in the diet from being absorbed 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 (primary hypercholesterolaemia). 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.
Ezetimibe may also be used on its own to lower cholesterol in people with primary hypercholesterolaemia who cannot take statins.
Ezetimibe is used in conjunction with a statin and a cholesterol-lowering diet to lower cholesterol in people with inherited high cholesterol levels (familial hypercholesterolaemia).
Lastly, ezetimibe can be used to treat people with a rare inherited disorder called homozygous sitosterolaemia, where there are raised levels of plant sterols that are similar to cholesterol in the blood. In this case ezetimibe is used on its own, together with a cholesterol-lowering diet.
It is important to continue to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet and exercise regime while taking ezetimibe.
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.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
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.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
If you have been prescribed a bile acid sequestrant, such as cholestyramine or colestipol, as well as this medicine, you should take this medicine at least two hours before, or at least four hours after taking the cholestyramine or colestipol. This is because these medicines can make ezetimibe less effective if they are taken at the same time.
There may be an increased risk of gallstones if this medicine is taken in combination with fibrate medicines to lower cholesterol, eg fenofibrate, gemfibrozil. These medicines may also increase the amount of ezetimibe in the blood.
The immunosuppressant ciclosporin may increase the body's exposure to ezetimibe. Conversely, ezetimibe may increase the blood level of ciclosporin. The manufacturer of this medicine recommends that it should be used with caution in people taking ciclosporin and that, if the combination is used, ciclosporin blood levels should be monitored.
People who are taking an anticoagulant medicine, for example warfarin, should have their blood-clotting time (INR) monitored after they start taking this medicine, in order to check that this medicine has not affected the action of the anticoagulant.
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain ezetimibe as the only active ingredient.
Inegy contains ezetimibe in combination with simvastatin.