Zetia: The Sterol Reduction Drug

Zetia is a drug used to treat people with high cholesterol levels in their blood, a condition medically referred to as hypercholesterolemia. The causes of hypercholesterolemia vary from one person to another. It may be the case that you inherited high cholesterol, a condition known as familial hypercholesterolemia. If the high levels are caused by your diet then the condition is known as primary hypercholesterolemia. Zetia may also be used in the treatment of homozygous sitosterolemia, which is an inherited condition where you have increased levels of plant cholesterol in your blood. You may be required to use Zetia in combination with an exercise regimen and regulated diet. Zetia can also be used in combination with drugs such as statins or fibrates, when these drugs are ineffective on their own. High cholesterol levels in the blood increase the risk of stroke or heart attack.

How Zetia Works: Zetia belongs to a class of drugs known as cholesterol absorption inhibitors. Zetia`s active ingredient, ezetimibe, works by preventing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. The brush border in your small intestine is responsible for the final absorption of carbohydrates. It also has what are known as transporters to allow for the nutrients to be taken into the bloodstream. Zetia works to prevent the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream after digestion. This will lead to less cholesterol being delivered to the liver and thereby force the liver to use up the cholesterol available in the blood. Zetia thereby affects the level of three forms of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides. It does not affect the levels of good cholesterol known as HDL cholesterol.

Zetia Dosage: Zetia should be taken as part of a plan that also involves regulated exercise and diet. The dosage for Zetia is usually determined by your doctor. Zetia is usually taken once a day with or without food.

Precautions Before Taking Zetia: You should inform your doctor if any of the following conditions apply to you before he prescribes you to use Zetia: kidney problems, muscular problems, liver problems, gall bladder problems, thyroid disorder, comsumption of any hormonal or steroidal medicine (these may include birth control medication), or allergic reactions. You should also speak to your pharmacist or doctor before using Zetia if you are intending to get pregnant or if you are pregnant. Speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding. The effects of Zetia on a breastfeeding baby are still unknown. You should also inform your doctor or pharmacists if you regularly consume alcohol.

Side Effects Of Zetia: You may get side effects when you start to take Zetia, which may include difficulty breathing, rashes, hives, unexplainable swelling and/or some itching. These are indications that you may be allergic to some of the ingredients in the drug. The use of Zetia may lead to the weakening of skeletal muscle tissue, and it may start to break down. If this condition persists you may have kidney failure. If you take Zetia and start experiencing the following side effects immediately consult with your doctor: any muscle tenderness, pain or any unusual weakness in your muscles, dark urine, a loss of appetite, nausea, stomach aches, low fever, chest pains, or pancreatitis (evidenced by pain in your stomach which spreads to your back). Some other side effects that may be experienced during the use of Zetia include some numbness, some mild stomach pains that may be accompanied by diarrhea, dizziness, cold or flu symptoms like coughing or runny nose, headaches, depressed mood, or joint and back pains.

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