Ezetrol is a type of medication called a cholesterol absorption inhibitor. It is used to help lower cholesterol levels in those who have been unable to do so solely through diet, and is sometimes prescribed alongside another form of treatment, called a statin. Ezetrol is issued in the form of a tablet, and is marketed by Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD).
- Branded treatment
- One a day tablet
- Helps prevent heart disease
Cholesterol is a substance which is present in a variety of foods, but is mostly generated by the liver. It is essential for the regular operation of bodily functions, but high amounts of it can be hazardous and pose a serious health risk. In the body, cholesterol gets around the body by joining with proteins, to form compounds called lipoproteins.
There are two types of lipoproteins: high density and low density. While low density lipoproteins (or LDLs) are responsible for transporting fat away from the liver, through the bloodstream and to various parts of the body, high density lipoproteins (HDLs) transfer them back to the liver, before they are broken down and excreted. For this reason, HDLs are referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol while LDLs are known as ‘bad’ cholesterol.
A high level of low density lipoproteins can lead to the clogging up of arterial walls, causing them to become restricted and making the passage of blood through them more difficult. This can make it harder for your heart to work properly, and increase the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
While lifestyle factors can heavily contribute towards the development of high cholesterol (such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking or heavy alcohol consumption), some people may be genetically predisposed to it. High cholesterol can also be attributed to the presence of a condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Treatment for high cholesterol usually begins with addressing a person’s dietary habits, and cutting down or eliminating the consumption of toxins, such as alcohol or tobacco. They may also suggest a programme of exercise. However, those who are unable to lower their cholesterol via these means may be prescribed medication. For those who have tried using statins and found them to be insufficient, additional treatment in the form of Ezetrol may be recommended.
The main component of Ezetrol is a substance called ezetimibe, which works by interfering with the process of cholesterol absorption from foods by the small bowel. In addition to this, it also prevents the cholesterol transferred from the bile duct to the small intestine from being taken up into the bloodstream. These functions help to lower the presence of LDLs, and decrease the likelihood of arterial blockages.
Patients should note that we do not provide this medication through our site. Contact your GP if you are looking to renew your prescription for this item.
Make sure that you adhere to the instructions issued by your prescriber when using this product, and that you follow the user advice contained in the patient information leaflet. This will help you to maximise the efficacy of your medication, while also reducing the likelihood of side effects.
- Take as directed.
- It should only be used in conjunction with a cholesterol-lowering diet.
- The typical dose is one tablet, once a day.
- It can be taken alongside or without food.
- If you are also taking a statin, you can administer this at the same time. However, you must leave a gap of two hours if taking before any type of bile acid sequestrant, or a gap of four hour hours if taking afterwards.
- Do not exceed the prescribed amount.
- If you miss a dose, take your next dose at the regular time and carry on as normal. Do not compensate by taking a double dose.
This is only a summary of the directions you will need to follow when using this treatment. Refer to the leaflet supplied before use.
Download Ezetrol patient information leaflet
It is important to be aware of the side effects this product may cause as some of them may necessitate immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, or any problems with your muscles such as pain, tenderness or weakness.
When used on its own:
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Stomach pain, diarrhoea, wind, or tiredness.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Abnormal liver or muscle function tests, coughing, problems with digestion, heartburn, nausea, joint pain, muscle spasms, hot flushes, neck pain, loss of appetite, pain, or high blood pressure.
When used alongside a statin:
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Abnormal liver function which may show up on tests, headaches, or muscular pain.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Tingling, dry mouth, itching, rashes or hives, back pain, pain in arms and legs or swelling in the hands and feet.
This is not a complete list of the side effects this product may cause. Consult the leaflet provided for more comprehensive information.
Taking it with other medicines
Your doctor needs to know if you are using any other treatments, including the following, as they may affect the way Ezetrol works: ciclosporin; anticoagulants such as warfarin, phenprocoumon, acenocoumarol or fluindione; cholestyramine; or fibrates.
Conditions to look out for
Before using Ezetrol, disclose your medical history to your prescriber as some conditions may make it unsuitable for use. Do not take it if you are allergic to anything in it or have liver problems. It may also not be safe for those who are lactose intolerant.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Ezetrol should not be used by anyone who is pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding. If any of the above applies to you, do not take this medication and speak to your doctor for advice. If you become pregnant while taking this treatment, you should stop using it and speak to your doctor.
Patients are advised to use reliable contraception when taking this treatment.
Driving and using machinery
Dizziness is a possible side effect of this treatment. Do not drive or use machinery if you experience any side effects such as these, which may inhibit your capacity to do so safely.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Drinking considerable amounts of alcohol is not recommended if you have high cholesterol. It is also therefore not advisable if you are using this drug.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. It should not make driving unsafe. However, if you notice any side effects which could impair your judgment or motor skills, you should not drive and let your doctor know right away.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
Use of this drug is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult your GP in these cases.
How should I store it?
In a safe place below 30°C and out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
This product contains: ezetimibe, lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, croscarmellose sodium, sodium laurilsulfate and magnesium stearate. Do not use it if you are allergic to any of these components.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You will need a prescription to be able to buy Ezetrol from a UK pharmacy.
Is it right for me?
If you have high cholesterol, the treatment you use will be determined by your GP during your regular review.
Please note that we do not offer this treatment through our site.
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