Vytorin (Simvastatin, Ezetimibe) Dosage and Side Effects
Vytorin is prescribed to help decrease your blood’s levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides (a type of fat, or lipid), while increasing your blood’s level of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).
Warnings and Precautions
You should not use VYTORIN if you have active liver disease, unexplained and persistent high levels of certain types of liver enzymes (transaminases), or ever experienced allergic reactions to ezetimibe or simvastatin.
The highest available dose of VYTORIN, called VYTORIN 10/80, increases your risk of developing myopathy (muscle disease) even in the absence of other medications. Additionally, you have a higher risk of developing myopathy from VYTORIN if you:
- Are over 65 years old
- Are female
- Have uncontrolled hypothyroidism
- Have renal (kidney) impairment
Pregnancy and VYTORIN
VYTORIN can harm fetuses and potentially cause birth defects. It should therefore not be used if you are pregnant.
It’s not known if ezetimibe or simvastatin can pass into breast milk. However, small amounts of other statins are known to show up in breast milk, so you should not take VYTORIN if you are breastfeeding.
Common Side Effects of VYTORIN:
- Increased liver enzyme levels
- Muscle pain
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Severe Side Effects of VYTORIN:
Taking VYTORIN may cause severe muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. You may also experience symptoms that indicate liver problems, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Upper abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Feeling tired or weak
Rare Side Effects of VYTORIN:
People have reported a number of other side effects while taking VYTORIN, including:
- Joint pain
- Pancreas inflammation
- Nausea and dizziness
- Memory issues, confusion, depression, and insomnia
- Erectile dysfunction
- Tingling sensations
- Breathing problems, such as persistent coughing and shortness of breath
- Alopecia (hair loss)
Interactions with this medication
You also shouldn’t take Vytroin if you are taking certain other medications, as they may increase your risk of developing muscular disease (myopathy). These drugs include:
- Anti-fungal drugs, including itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), and voriconazole (Vfend)
- HIV protease inhibitors, including indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), saquinavir (Fortovase), tipranavir (Aptivus), and atazanavir (Reyataz)
- Hepatitis C virus protease inhibitors boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivek)
- Certain antibiotics, such as erythromycin (E-Mycin, Eryc), clarithromycin (Biaxin), and telithromycin (Ketek)
- Antidepressant nefazodone (Serzone)
- Medications containing the HIV drug, cobicistat
- Cholestol-lowering gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- Immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine (Restasis)
- Synthetic steroid danazol (Danocrine)
It’s important to tell your doctor about any prescription, non-prescription, over-the-counter, illegal, and recreational drugs you’re taking, as well as any vitamins and supplements.
In addition to the drugs listed above, VYTORIN may interact with:
- Cholesterol-lowering fibrates, including fenofibrate (Tricor, Lofibra), and gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- Amiodarone (Cordarone) and verapamil (Calan, Covera-HS)
- Cholestyramine (Questran)
- Digoxin (Lanoxin)
- Coumarin anticoagulants, including warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- Propranolol (Inderol)
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
VYTORIN and Alcohol
Drinking excessive alcohol while taking VYTORIN may increase your risk of liver damage and raise your triglyceride levels.
VYTORIN and Grapefruit
While taking VYTORIN, you should not drink more than one quart of grapefruit juice per day, as this may increase your risk of myopathy.
Proper Use of this medication
There are four types of VYTORIN oral tablets available, which differ by the pill’s milligram (mg) ratio of ezetimibe and simvastatin:
- VYTORIN 10/10 (ezetimibe 10mg/simvastatin 10mg)
- VYTORIN 10/20
- VYTORIN 10/40
- VYTORIN 10/80
Doses should be taken once in the evening, with or without food.
People usually start off taking 10/10 mg per day or 10/20 mg per day, and may increase to the stronger doses if they need their LDL levels reduced further. The exact tablets your doctor prescribes for you may also depend on other medications you may be taking.
If you overdose on VYTORIN, immediately call your doctor or the poison control center, or go to the nearest hospital. Call 911 if you suspect someone has overdosed of VYTORIN and has collapsed or isn’t breathing.
Missed Dose of VYTORIN
Do not take an extra dose of VYTORIN if you missed your dose. Continue on your normal dosage schedule.