Harvard Health Letter

By the way, doctor: Is Vytorin safe?

Q. I'm taking Vytorin. After the news about a negative study a couple of months ago, I am wondering if it's safe.

A. Vytorin combines two cholesterol-lowering drugs, simvastatin (Zocor) and ezetimibe (Zetia). Simvastatin and the other statins reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol by interfering with liver enzymes. Ezetimibe works in the intestine to block cholesterol absorption.

Doctors have been prescribing Zetia for patients who can't take statins because of side effects and Vytorin for those whose LDL levels weren't controlled by a statin alone.

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