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Zetia and Vytorin Information

What is Zetia?

Zetia is the trade name under which Merck, Inc. and Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals market their cholesterol-lowering drug generically known as ezetimibe. Zetia works differently than other commonly used statin drugs for lowering cholesterol by inhibiting absorption of cholesterol at the small intestine. This causes a reduction of hepatic cholesterol stores and an increase in clearance of cholesterol from the blood. In 2005, a Dear Doctor letter was issued in Canada advising that Zetia is associated with adverse side effects such as:

  • Liver Damage
  • Liver Disease
  • Liver Failure
  • Hepatic Failure
  • Hepatitis
  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Thrombocytopenia

No similar Dear Doctor letter was issued in the United States and the FDA did not require Merck and Shering-Plough to do so.

What is Vytorin?

Vytorin is a one-pill combination of Zocor (simvastatin) and Zetia. In clinical trials that led to Vytorin's approval in 2004, the combined benefits of a statin, which inhibits cholesterol production in the liver, and Zetia, which keeps the substance from being absorbed in the intestine, knocked down the level of LDL cholesterol about 20 percent more than Zocor could by itself. A study released by its U.S. distributor, Merck/Schering-Plough, showed that the Vytorin wasn't any better than the same dose of Zocor alone at keeping fatty plaque from building up in the arteries of the neck and furthermore, had adverse side effects such as:

  • Liver Disease
  • Liver Failure
  • Liver Injury
  • Hepatic Necrosis
  • Hepatic Failure
  • Hepatitis
  • Rhabdomyolysis
2005 Dear Doctor Letter Issued In Canada for Cholesterol Drug Ezetrol/Zetia
On February 1, 2005 Health Canada posted a Dear Doctor letter warning about Zetia (ezetimibe) -- called Ezetrol in Canada -- on its site from Merck Frosst / Schering Pharmaceuticals. The letter was intended to draw attention to some serious side effects associated with Zetia.

Unpublished Zetia Studies Show Risks of Side Effects
In a December 21, 2007 article, "Data About Zetia Risks Was Not Fully Revealed", New York Times (NYT) reporter Alex Berenson broke the story that Merck and Schering-Plough had conducted several studies of Zetia which, in fact, raised the possibility that Zetia can cause liver damage when used long-term with other statins -- but that the drug companies opted not to publish the results of those Zetia studies.

Zetia and Vytorin Class Actions
We believe that people who had a serious injury or suffered a death due to Zetia or Vytorin are better served when an individual lawsuit is filed on their behalf. A serious injury or death case should not be filed as part of any Zetia or Vytorin class action together with the claims of many other people who may have had different injuries caused by Zetia or Vytorin.

Zetia, Vytorin, and Legal Compensation
If you experienced serious side effects or a person died due to an adverse reaction while taking Zetia or Vytorin, you may have a claim for legal compensation. All states have statutes of limitations that determine the time period allowed to file a lawsuit. The applicable statute of limitation, or deadline to file claims, varies from state to state, and the personal injury statute of limitation deadline can be different from the wrongful death statute of limitation deadline within the same state.

Zetia and Vytorin Case Evaluation
The information you provide to us for this Free Case Evaluation will be treated as strictly confidential.  You will get a reply from us no later than the next business day.  Submitting a case evaluation does not obligate you to hire our law firm for your lawsuit.  We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will make no payment for our legal services until after we have succeeded in getting legal compensation for you.


NOTE: If you are a Consumer and you paid (or are obligated to pay) for Vytorin® and Zetia® from November 1, 2002 through September 17, 2009, you may be able to get money back. 

For more information visit, which is the only Court-authorized web site for this proposed class action settlement.

Drug Injury Watch: Zetia and Vytorin News and Commentary

  • US FDA advises that you should not stop taking any prescription medication before talking to your doctor.
  • Reports of serious drug side effects should be made to the US FDA MedWatch program.
  • The prescription drug names are registered trademarks of the respective drug companies.
  • is not affiliated with any of the drug companies, nor US FDA.
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