What is Vytorin?Vytorin is a cholesterol-lowering drug. It is used along with a special diet to lower triglycerides and the "bad" low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-that can build up on artery walls and block blood flow. At the same time, Vytorin raises the "good" high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which helps prevent fats from building up and clogging the arteries.
What is the most important information I should know about Vytorin?Vytorin may cause a serious muscle condition that can lead to kidney damage. The risk of this occurring is increased if you are taking a high dose or certain other medicines with it (see "What are possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?"). You should tell your doctor right away if you feel any muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort.
Vytorin may harm your liver. Your risk may be greater if you drink alcohol while you are using Vytorin. Talk to your doctor before you take Vytorin if you drink large amounts of alcohol (more than two drinks a day).
It is important to remember that Vytorin is a supplement--not a substitute--for other measures to control your cholesterol. For the best results, Vytorin should be used along with exercise, a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet, and a weight-loss program if you are overweight. Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your doctor.
Who should not take Vytorin?You should not take Vytorin if you are allergic or sensitive to ezetimibe, simvastatin, or any other ingredient in Vytorin. You should also not take Vytorin if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or if you have liver problems.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Vytorin?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Vytorin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney, thyroid, or liver problems; drink large amounts of alcohol (more than two drinks a day); or have a history of muscleaches or weakness, low blood pressure, seizures, metabolic problems (conditions that interfere with the process by which our bodies get energy from food), electrolyte problems, or diabetes. In addition, tell your doctor if you have recently had major trauma, a severe infection, or if you recently had an organ transplant or are currently taking medication to suppress organ rejection.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dosage is 10/10 milligrams (mg) (10 mg of ezetimibe and 10 mg of simvastatin) to 10/80 mg (10 mg of ezetimibe and 80 mg of simvastatin) taken once a day. The recommended staring dose is 10/20 mg taken once a day. Your doctor should check your cholesterol levels 2 or more weeks after starting therapy and periodically thereafter.
How should I take Vytorin?Vytorin should be taken once daily in the evening, with or without food.
If you also take a bile acid sequestrant (such as cholestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam), do not take it within 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking Vytorin. Check with your doctor if you have questions.
Continue to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet while taking Vytorin.
What should I avoid while taking Vytorin?You should not become pregnant or breastfeed while taking Vytorin. You should not drink large amounts of grapefruit juice (more than 1 quart daily) or large amounts of alcohol while taking Vytorin. Doing so may increase your risk for serious side effects. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.
Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to Vytorin; this medication may cause drowsiness or vision changes. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Vytorin?If Vytorin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Vytorin with the following: amiodarone; antifungal agents, such as itraconazole or ketoconazole; cholestyramine; clarithromycin; cyclosporine; danazol; erythromycin; fibrates such as niacin or nicotinic acid (especially more than 1,000 mg or 1 gram per day), fibric acid derivatives, such as gemfibrozil, bezafibrate, or fenofibrate; grapefruit juice (more than 1 quart daily); HIV protease inhibitors, such as indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir; nefazodone; telithromycin; and verapamil.
What are the possible side effects of Vytorin?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: headache, nausea, rash, flulike symptoms, pain in the arms or legs, tiredness, upper respiratory tract infection
Serious side effects may include: hives, joint pain, muscle pain, allergic reactions including swelling of the face/lips/tongue/throat
Tell your doctor right away if you feel any muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort.
Can I receive Vytorin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?No. Vytorin may cause harm to an unborn or newborn baby, and should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Vytorin?If you miss a dose of Vytorin, skip the dose you missed and then return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Vytorin?Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.
- Why Doctors Prescribe Cholesterol DrugsGet the facts about high cholesterol and drugs that can lower it.
- The Risks of Not Taking Your Cholesterol MedicationFind out what happens if you miss a dose and when is the best time to take cholesterol-lowering drugs
- How Drugs Can Lower CholesterolDiscover how cholesterol-lowering medications work in your body to bring your cholesterol numbers down to ideal levels.