Zetia and Vytorin
A study published in November 2009 found that patients taking the cholesterol drug Zetia were five times more likely to suffer serious and possibly life-threatening side effects—including heart attacks, hospitalization or death from heart disease—compared with patients who were prescribed another drug to lower cholesterol.
Zetia (ezetimibe) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 to help lower levels of LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol.” The drug is commonly prescribed along with another type of cholesterol-lowering drug known as statins, which include Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor. Zetia and Zocor are also available in a combination pill sold under the name Vytorin.
Because Zetia and Vytorin users may be more likely to suffer major adverse events than those who are given another cholesterol treatment, many patients may have unnecessarily suffered heart attack or other side effects after taking these drugs. Additionally, research has shown that Zetia and Vytorin are no more effective at lowering LDL cholesterol levels to unclog arteries than older and less expensive treatments.
Despite these and previous findings linking Zetia or Vytorin to an increased risk of cancer and liver damage, neither the Food and Drug Administration or their manufacturers have announced plans to issue a recall of these drugs
In August 2009, the manufacturers of Zetia and Vytorin agreed to pay $41.5 million in settlements over claims that they used false advertising about the effectiveness of the two drugs to support a higher sales price than those of other cholesterol drugs. These lawsuits alleged that former Zetia and Vytorin patients were unfairly overcharged for their prescriptions because the drugs are no more effective than earlier, cheaper drugs.
If you or a loved one have suffered a heart attack or other serious side effects after taking Zetia or Vytorin, contact the law office of Hissey Kientz to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at (866) 275-4454, or by filling out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page.