The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
In Brief: Rhabdomyolysis with Ezetimibe
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Med Lett Drugs Ther. 2005 Feb 28;47(1203):17
 Select a term to see related articles  cholesterol   Cholesterol absorption inhibitors   ezetimibe   Ezetrol   LDL   Lipoproteins   Low density lipoproteins   Myalgia   Myopathy   Myositis   Rhabdomyolysis   simvastatin   Vytorin   Zetia 

Health Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the FDA, recently issued a public advisory about postmarketing reports of myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, hepatitis, pancreatitis and thrombocytopenia associated with use of ezetimibe (Zetia in the US; Ezetrol in Canada). Ezetimibe is often added to a statin to increase LDL cholesterol lowering (Drugs for Lipids, Treat Guidel Med Lett 2005; 3:15). The advisory did not specify whether these patients were also taking a statin, but according to the Canadian manufacturer Merck Frosst/Schering (Merck/Schering-Plough in the US), some of the patients who developed rhabdomyolysis were taking ezetimibe without a statin. In the US, ezetimibe is also available in a combination with simvastatin (Vytorin - Med Lett Drugs Ther 2004; 46:73). Recently, a few patients already taking a statin developed myalgia when ezetimibe was added (R Fux et al, Ann Intern Med 2004; 140:671). The possibility that adding ezetimibe to a statin could increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis should be kept in mind.

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