Vytorin Precautions and Warnings

There are certain things to be aware of before starting Vytorin. Warnings and precautions include serious muscle problems, like rhabdomyolysis, and negative interactions between Vytorin and other medications. Pregnant women should not take the drug, nor should people with active liver disease. Safety concerns with Vytorin also extend to people who drink alcohol frequently or who will be undergoing surgery.

Vytorin: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Talk to your healthcare provider prior to taking Vytorin® (ezetimibe/simvastatin) if you have:
 
  • Liver disease or liver failure
  • Kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
      
    Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
     
    • Are of Chinese descent
    • Are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant
    • Are breastfeeding
    • Will be undergoing a procedure or surgery
    • Drink alcohol frequently.
       
    In addition, tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
     

    Specific Vytorin Precautions and Warnings

    Some precautions and warnings to be aware of with Vytorin include the following:
     
    • Vytorin can interact with certain medications (see Vytorin Drug Interactions).
       
    • If you are an alcoholic or drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to starting Vytorin. Alcohol can affect the way the liver works, indirectly affecting the effects of Vytorin.
       
    • Statins have been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a blood test to check your liver function before starting Vytorin. These tests may also be recommended if the Vytorin dosage is changed (see Vytorin and Liver Problems).
    Previously it had been recommended that people taking statins have routine periodic liver function tests while taking the medication, but this recommendation has been removed, since such monitoring does not help much to detect or prevent such problems. Liver function tests should still be performed if there is any suspicion of liver damage.
    • Rhabdomyolysis (the severe breakdown of muscles) and other serious muscle problems have rarely been reported with Vytorin and other statins. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, especially if accompanied by body aches or a fever (see Vytorin and Muscle Pain).

     

    • Studies have suggested that Chinese people may be at a higher risk for serious muscle problems when simvastatin (one of the components of Vytorin) is combined with niacin (see Niacin and Vytorin for more information)
     
     
    • Vytorin is a pregnancy Category X medicine, meaning that the drug could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. The safety of Vytorin in pregnant women has not been established. Therefore, if you become pregnant while taking Vytorin, talk to your healthcare provider immediately (see Vytorin and Pregnancy).
       
    • If you are nursing, it is not known whether Vytorin passes through your milk. Therefore, if you are taking Vytorin, ask your healthcare provider whether to stop nursing or to discontinue your Vytorin.
       
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