Ezetimibe for Reducing LDL and Total Cholesterol

Merck and Schering-Plough have announced the FDA’s approval of ezetimibe (Zetia drug), along with diet and in combination with fenofibrate, for lowering elevated total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) in patients with mixed hyperlipidemia when diet alone is not enough. Mixed hyper-lipidemia is characterized by elevations of LDL-C and triglycerides and reduced high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels.

Fenofibrate is commonly used along with diet to treat hyperlipidemia and has proven efficacy in lowering triglyceride levels and increasing HDL-C. The use of generic ezetimibe with fibrates other than fenofibrate is not yet recommended.