Zetia (ezetimibe) manufactured by Merck & Schering-Plough is one of the newer prescription cholesterol lowering drugs. Unlike the more common cholesterol medications called statins which block the enzyme your liver needs to produce cholesterol, Zetia works to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. Worldwide, it is estimated that about five million people are now taking Zetia. Zetia is either prescribed by itself to lower cholesterol, or in conjunction with statin medications such as Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol, Zocor or a patient will take it in a single pill, Vytorin, that combines Zetia with Zocor to maximize cholesterol reduction.
What are the dangers associated with Zetia? In addition to the side effects common to most prescription medications such as headaches, nausea and fever, other side effects of Zetia can be much more serious. The most troubling potential Zetia side effects include extreme muscle pain and serious liver problems. Merck and Schering-Plough, conducted a two year trial that ended in April 2006. The resulted were that, Zetia had failed to benefit patients and that Zetia fail to slow the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, it actually seemed to contribute to plaque formation.
Do not change medications without first consulting your doctor.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK)
Merck & Co. Inc. is a large pharmaceutical company.
Schering-Plough Corporation (SGP)
Schering-Plough Corporation discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceuticals worldwide.
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