Zetia side effects and benefits medication information by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
March 15 2016

Zetia is a prescription medication that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body. Zetia is used to reduce the amount of total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B (a protein needed to make cholesterol) in the blood. Zetia is used with a low cholesterol diet and, in some cases, other cholesterol lowering medications. Zetia is a prescription pharmaceutical drug that should not be taken by people who are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Zetia is one of the newer prescription cholesterol lowering medications. Statins lower cholesterol by blocking the enzyme your liver needs to produce cholesterol, Zetia medication reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. Zetia medication is either prescribed by itself to lower cholesterol, or in conjunction with statin medications (Lipitor, Zocor and others) to maximize cholesterol reduction.

Does taking Zetia help you live longer?
Ezetimibe has been demonstrated to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels in combination with statins. However there is yet no evidence that those taking Zetia and statin drugs together will live longer.

Int Heart J. 2013. Effects of ezetimibe on serum polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with coronary artery disease. Residual risk of cardiovascular disease might stem, at least partially, from low serum concentrations of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of ezetimibe on serum lipids and PU-FAs in patients with coronary artery disease who were intolerant of new or high-dose statin therapy. The study population consisted of 13 patients who were intolerant of new statin therapy and 10 patients who were intolerant of high-dose statin therapy for the treatment of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Patients who were intolerant of high-dose statin therapy continued taking a statin, but at a lower dose during the study period. Blood samples were collected before and 12 weeks after ezetimibe (10 mg). We measured serum lipids and PUFAs including dihomo-γ-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid. Ezetimibe significantly decreased LDL cholesterol (138 19 mg/dL to 97 34 mg/dL, P < 0.01), but did not significantly affect high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, or any of the PUFAs measured during the follow-up period. Consequently, it did not affect the ratio of EPA to AA (0.40 0.17 to 0.43 0.18, P = ns) or the ratio of n-3 PUFA to n-6 PUFA (1.10 0.39 to 1.09 0.36, P = ns) during the follow-up period. Ezetimibe in combination with a low-dose statin, or as monotherapy in statin-intolerant patients, decreased LDL cholesterol, but did not significantly affect serum PUFA concentrations in patients with coronary artery disease.

Zetia Side Effects
Common Zetia side effects may include abdominal pain, diarrhea and tiredness. Other Zetia side effects include joint pain, muscle pain, chest pain, and dizziness.

Can diabetes result from being treated with Zetia medication?
    I don't know.