(Rx) - indicates only available by prescription
Vytorin is a cholesterol-lowering drug that is made from a combination of two different medications. Simvastatin and Ezetimibe are the two medicines that are included in the Vytorin pill and they work in different ways to optimize the body’s ability to lower cholesterol. Simvastatin is what is known as an HMG-CoA redustase inhibitor and how this works is that it blocks one of the vital enzymes that is responsible for the manufacturing of cholesterol. You may have heard of Simvastatin being referred to as a ‘statin’ and this is in fact the family that it belongs too. This differs from Ezetimibe in the sense that this medicine actually acts in your gut to stop the cholesterol in your diet from being absorbed into the body in the first place. Vytorin will give you the most benefit if it is taken in addition to a low fat and low cholesterol diet. It is vital to keep cholesterol levels low in the body in order to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Vytorin will not cure cholesterol and should instead be viewed as an aid that will help in the fight against high cholesterol. There may be other conditions where Vytorin is a good choice of medication for you and so do not be surprised if your doctor prescribes you this medication for another condition. However you can expect a full explanation as to why they chose to do so.
As is the case with all drugs, it is vital that you carefully follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Vytorin comes with a leaflet that will provide you with information about the medicine and how to use it. However if you do happen to have any questions about how to take this medicine then you should talk to your pharmacist, nurse or doctor and they will be happy to help you. For patients who are on a bile acid sequestrant i.e. colestipol, colesevelam, or cholestyramine, then it is vital that you take Vytorin at least four hours after or two hours before taking the bile acid sequestrant. Also one should note that you must not drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication as it may increase the effects of Vytorin. If you must have some grapefruit juice then have no more than a glass a day. Where you keep the medicine is very important and in this case it must be stored at room temperature (77 degrees F) away from the sun and in an airtight container. It must be kept out of the reach of children. You must take the medicine as directed by your doctor and if you can take it at the same time everyday, then that may help you to remember. Vytorin should be taken in the evening unless otherwise specified by your doctor. It is very important that you take this medicine everyday as directed and do not miss a dose, even if you are feeling better. Failure to take your medicine as directed will likely result in the worsening of your symptoms. In the unfortunate scenario that you do forget to take a dose, you must take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless this is near the time of your next dose. In this case you should just forget about the missed dose and carry on with your normal schedule, as you must never take two doses of a single medication at the same time. If you have any concerns then you should contact your pharmacist, nurse or doctor for more information.
First and foremost you should not take Vytorin if you have experienced an allergic or other adverse reaction to it or any other ingredient that is used in the production of Vytorin. If you are worried that you may have had an adverse reaction to Vytorin in the past then you should discuss this with your doctor. There may be tests that are required by your doctor to check for side effects and/or monitor how effective the medicine is for you. Some of the tests that may be required are blood cholesterol levels, muscle tests and/or liver function tests, however your doctor will talk to you about what is required. It is important to attend all laboratory and doctor appointments while you are taking Vytorin and additional appointments may be necessary when a change to the dose is made and during the initial starting period. If Vytorin is taken in combination with alcohol or any other forms of medications your ability to perform everyday tasks may be impaired and you should talk to your doctor about this if you are concerned. Vytorin can cause various symptoms and so you should avoid performing tasks such as driving, operating heavy machinery or any other dangerous activities until you know what effects the medicine will have on you. It is important that before you undergo any dental work or surgery of any kind that you let the dentist or doctor know that you are taking this medication. Vytorin can cause damage to your liver and/or your muscles when taken in higher doses. For this reason it is important to keep regular follow ups with your family doctor who will keep an eye on these vital organs. You should contact the doctor right away if you notice muscle weakness or pain, particularly if you have a fever at the same time. Grapefruit juice may increase your risk of developing these problems and therefore should be avoided. Vytorin may have adverse effects on the fetus in pregnant women and so all women who may be thinking about getting pregnant should weigh up the pros and cons of taking this medicine during pregnancy with their doctor. Also it is unknown if Vytorin is excreted in the breast milk and so general advice at this time is to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about whether it is safe for you to breastfeed.
As is the case with most drugs Vytorin is not without its side effects. Some of the things that you may notice when taking this medication include: tiredness or headache. These may be minor and go away during the course of treatment, however if they do bother you then you must talk to your doctor. Vytorin was prescribed to you, as your doctor believes that the benefits will outweigh the side effects and so it is usual to expect some symptoms. However these symptoms should not cause you major discomfort and if this is the case then please talk to your doctor. You must talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you experience vision changes including blurred vision, stomach pain, continuous nausea and vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin, fever and/or a change in the amount of urine produced. Fortunately it is uncommon for someone to have an allergic reaction to this medicine, however they do occur and if you notice severe dizziness, a rash, itching, trouble breathing or swelling then you must seek immediate medical attention. If you experience any symptoms that worry you, even if they are not listed above, then it is vital that you talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about it.
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