Atozet

Atozet - How to take | Interactions | Effects

Atozet is a medicine that contains two active substances: atorvastatin and ezetimibe. Atorvastatin works by blocking the HMG coenzyme A reductase enzyme which reduces the production of cholesterol in the liver, while ezetimibe blocks the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, which further reduces the level of cholesterol in blood. Atozet is used to lower levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and increase levels of "good" (HDL) cholesterol mainly in patients who have extremely high cholesterol levels or are at very high risk of cardiovascular events.

Doctor will probably recommend you to first try with taking atorvastatin or ezetimibe alone, but if this does not help you, than he/she will recommend you to start taking Atozet.

LDL is called bad cholesterol because it accumulates in the blood vessels and can block blood supply to vital organs, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.

HDL is called good cholesterol because of its beneficial functions in the body.

Precautions

This medicine is contraindicated in the following conditions:

  • In patients with liver disease. Both active substances (atorvastatin and ezetimibe) are hepatotoxic and can cause liver damage. In most patients liver damage is minor and insignificant because the liver can regenerate itself. However, a very small number of severe liver damage have been reported in patients taking this medicine, and for this reason, it should not be used in patients who already have a history of liver problems.
  • In pregnant women and nursing mothers
  • In children under the age of 10

It must be used with extra precaution in patients who have a history of disease that affects the muscles. If you are experiencing pain in the muscles or muscle inflammation of unknown origin, contact your doctor immediately. This drug can cause myopathy, which is characterized by muscle degradation and raised myoglobin levels in the blood which causes kidney overload and failure.

This medication must be used with extra precaution in patients who have hypothyroidism.

Atozet, pregnancy and lactation

According to the FDA, Atozet belongs to the group X. This means that this drug demonstrated teratogenic effects on the fetus and its teratogenic potential has been confirmed by numerous clinical studies. This drug is absolutely contraindicated during pregnancy. Keep in mind that cholesterol is essential for the proper intrauterine development of the fetus, and use of cholesterol-lowering drugs during pregnancy should be avoided. Cessation of lipid-lowering therapy during pregnancy does not increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Because of the potential adverse effects on babies, it should not be used during breastfeeding.

How to take

Atozet exists in different strengths:

  • Atozet 10/10 (contains 10 mg of atorvastatin and 10 mg of ezetimibe) - used to reduce LDL-cholesterol by 35-45%.
  • Atozet 20/10 (contains 20 mg of atorvastatin and 10 mg of ezetimibe) - used to reduce LDL-cholesterol by 45-55%.
  • Atozet 40/10 (contains 40 mg of atorvastatin and 10 mg of ezetimibe) - used to reduce LDL-cholesterol by 55-65%.
  • Atozet 80/10 (contains 80 mg atorvastatin and 10 mg of ezetimibe) - used to reduce LDL-cholesterol by more than 65%.

It is taken once a day, regardless of the food.

Interactions

Concomitant use with these drugs increases the risk of serious side effects:

  • HIV protease inhibitors - used in the treatment of HIV infection (e.g. amprenavir, saquinavir, indinavir, atazanavir and timpranavir)
  • Clarithromycin and erythromycin (antibiotics)
  • Colchicine (a drug used to treat gout)
  • Danazol (medicine used to treat fibrocystic breast disease, and endometriosis)
  • Conivaptan (a drug used in the treatment of low sodium levels in the blood)
  • Cyclosporine (immunosuppressant)
  • Antifungal drugs (e.g. fluconazole, and ketoconazole)
  • Other drugs used to lower cholesterol

You must not use alcoholic beverages or grapefruit juice while on treatment with this drug, because these beverages increase risk of adverse reactions.

Side effects

Most commonly reported side effects include diarrhea and muscle pain.

Less than 1% of patients experience some of the following side effects:

  • Bradycardia
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive disorders (abdominal pain, bloating and nausea)
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramps

Following side effects occur very rarely:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Liver damage
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperpyrexia
  • Visual impairment
  • Nightmares
  • Gynecomastia
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Allergy

References

  1. NCBI link