What is the role of ezetimibe (Zetia) in the treatment of pediatric lipid disorders?

Updated: Jun 27, 2019
  • Author: Henry J Rohrs, III, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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Answer

Ezetimibe (Zetia) acts on the brush border of the small intestine, inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol. Decreases of as much as 20% in plasma cholesterol may occur. The absorption of vitamin A, D, and E is not affected, and ezetimibe also does not affect adrenocortical steroid hormone production.

Ezetimibe has been produced as a combination pill with simvastatin (Vytorin) in adults. FDA-approved Vytorin is available in preparations that contain 10 mg of ezetimibe and 10, 20, 40 or 80 mg of simvastatin (Zocor). Because both drugs have different mechanisms of action, a synergistic effect causes a 30-60% decrease in cholesterol levels. Compliance is increased because both medicines are included in a single tablet. Limited data in children are available; therefore, widespread use is not yet established.


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