May 11, 2022

Side Effects, Dosage, Cost & More

Like most medicines, Zetia can cause mild to severe side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Zetia can cause. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

Keep in mind that the side effects of a medicine can depend on:

  • your age
  • other health problems you have
  • other medicines you are taking

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Zetia. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here is a short list of some of the mild Zetia side effects that have been reported. For more information about other mild side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or read the Package Leaflet for Zetia prescribing information.

Mild side effects of Zetia when taken alone may include:

Mild side effects of Zetia when taken with a statin (another type of cholesterol-lowering medicine) may include:

Mild side effects of many medications can disappear within days to weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

*For more information on this side effect, see the “Side Effects Focus” section below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Zetia can occur, but they are not common. If you have serious side effects from Zetia, call your doctor right away. But if you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Zetia that have been reported include:

For more information on these side effects, see “Focus on side effects” below.

Focus on side effects

Learn more about some of the side effects Zetia can cause.

liver damage

It is possible to develop increased liver enzyme levels if you are taking Zetia with a statin. An increase in liver enzymes can be a sign of liver damage. But taking Zetia alone isn’t known to increase your risk of liver damage.

Symptoms of liver damage can include:

What might help

If you are taking Zetia with a statin, your doctor will check your liver function before starting treatment. And during treatment, they will recommend certain blood tests to monitor your liver health.

If you notice any symptoms of liver damage, talk to your doctor right away. They will likely have you do other blood tests to check your liver enzyme levels. They may also recommend another treatment option for your cholesterol.

Articular pain

Joint pain may develop if you take Zetia alone or with a statin. It is one of the most frequently reported side effects in studies.

What might help

If you have severe or bothersome joint pain, talk to your doctor. They may recommend treatments for your symptoms or suggest a treatment other than Zetia.

muscle problems, such as muscle cramps

You may develop muscle problems if you take Zetia alone or with a statin.

These problems are usually mild, such as mild pain or cramping. But muscle problems with Zetia can be serious and can lead to a serious condition called rhabdomyolysis. This refers to the breakdown of your muscle tissue.

You may have an increased risk of serious muscle problems if you:

  • take a high-dose statin
  • are 65 or older
  • have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland)
  • have kidney problems
  • are taking other medications that cause muscle problems

What might help

During your cholesterol treatment, your doctor will monitor you for muscle problems. They may recommend that you have blood tests to make sure your cholesterol treatment isn’t causing muscle breakdown or other problems.

Be sure to tell your doctor about any muscle symptoms you may have. They may monitor you more often or recommend a different treatment for your condition.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Zetia. It is not known how often this side effect has occurred in studies.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction may include:

  • itchy skin
  • itching
  • rinsing (temporary warmth, redness or deepening of skin color)

A more serious allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under the skin, usually on the eyelids, lips, hands or feet. They can also include swelling of the tongue, mouth, or throat, which can lead to difficulty breathing.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Zetia. But if you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.


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