Ezetimibe is recommended as a possible treatment for adults with primary (heterozygous-familial and non-familial) hypercholesterolaemia in the following circumstances.
- Ezetimibe can be taken on its own by a person who would normally be given a statin to treat their condition but can't because the person has a condition or takes another medicine that interferes with how the statin works, or because the statin is likely to cause side effects.
- Ezetimibe can be taken at the same time as a person's usual statin rather than changing to a new statin when cholesterol levels are not low enough despite increasing the dose of the statin, or if a person is unable to try higher doses of the statin because it is likely to cause side effects.
When a person has side effects from using a statin, this is described as 'intolerance'. Side effects include muscle pain, severe stomach problems or when tests indicate that the liver is not functioning normally.
A decision on whether a person's cholesterol level is low enough should be based on an individual risk assessment.
If it is decided that a person should take their usual statin and ezetimibe together, then the least expensive form of ezetimibe should be prescribed.