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Is Zetia Safer than a Statin? Statins vs Zetia Complete Guide

speciality medications

April 1, 2024
Cholesterol Test Chart

While cholesterol, a waxy substance that our body produces, is critical for our body’s health, too much of a good thing can lead to dangerous outcomes. If you have too much cholesterol built up in your system, you may experience adverse cardiovascular events.

Scarily, high cholesterol is often termed a “silent killer”—as it doesn’t really come with clear symptoms. This makes managing your cholesterol particularly important, and potentially even a life-saving strategy. Zetia, or ezetimibe, can be an effective way to keep your cholesterol within healthy limits. So can statins, but many are leery of the side effects statins can bring.

However, Zetia may also come with side effects.

Ultimately, this is a choice that you and your doctor will have to make. This guide will prepare you to make an informed decision about your health, cholesterol management, and self-care.

Why Is Cholesterol So Important (And What is Zetia Used For?)

Cholesterol isn’t a bad thing. It’s easy to think so, especially if you’re inundated with warnings about heart health tied to high cholesterol, but cholesterol is an important building block for building cells.

What’s important is keeping a good balance between the different types of cholesterol your body makes. To put it simply, you have two general types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. LDL is the “bad” kind, and HDL is the “good” kind. You’ll want to keep your LDL levels low, and your HDL levels (relatively) high.

That’s easier said than done. For many, consuming dietary fats can throw LDL levels out of whack. For others, keeping their bodies in a persistently stressed or inflamed condition triggers the body to produce too much LDL. High or imbalanced cholesterol can be genetic or environmental. Some can manage it with lifestyle changes; others can’t.

It’s important to figure out what works for you and your body. Fortunately, there are many effective prescription medications that can make a big difference for people seeking high-quality cholesterol management.

Zetia (Ezetimibe) Explained

Zetia (ezetimibe) is a cholesterol medication that isn’t a statin. While statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver, Zetia blocks the body’s absorption of cholesterol from food.

If you’ve figured out that your problem isn’t so much your body’s production of cholesterol but how much dietary cholesterol you take in, Zetia may be very helpful for you. If you’re interested in avoiding statins because of their side effects, and similarly, Zetia may be a good option to explore.

Zetia’s Potential Side Effects and Considerations

Of course, like any prescription medication, Zetia does come with its share of possible risks.

Patients who take Zetia may experience a range of side effects, including stomach pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. There are also some pre-existing conditions that could make it difficult, dangerous, or impossible for patients to take Zetia—including some liver conditions.

How Much Does Zetia Cost?

In the United States, a 30-day supply of brand-name Zetia can cost as much as $450.00.

Through, you can save up to 82%! Here, you can buy a 30-day supply of brand-name Zetia for about $80.00 while the generic is much cheaper than this.

Your doctor will be able to assess your medical history, any existing medications you may be taking, and your personal health preferences and goals to help recommend a good course of action for you (whether that’s Zetia, a statin, a suite of lifestyle changes, or some mixture of these options).

But that leaves out some important contextual information.

What Are Statins? A Comprehensive Overview of a Zetia Alternative

If Zetia is considered a good alternative to statins, it’s a good idea to talk a bit about what statins bring to the table.

Here’s Exactly How Statins Work in Lowering Cholesterol

Statins are a group of prescription medications that help reduce the amount of LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol a person has in their body. They’re very effective; when used correctly and combined with strategic lifestyle modifications, statins can reduce LDL cholesterol by 50% or more.

This can save people’s lives and significantly reduce their risk for adverse events related to cardiovascular health.

Statins work by blocking the function of a specific liver enzyme that is required for cholesterol production. This limits a person’s ability to make cholesterol by themselves.

When taking a statin, a patient will still be able to take in cholesterol through their diet, which is why prioritizing some healthy dietary options is still a good idea. But, for those whose bodies simply make too much cholesterol, statins can be very helpful.

Common Statins and Their Side Effects

The most common statin medications that doctors prescribe include:

Most people tolerate statins very well, but statins do come with some side effects.

The side effects of statins may vary from person to person and should go away as patients get used to the drug. Side effects to watch out for include nausea, headaches, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and muscle or joint aches. Rare, severe side effects can include memory or confusion, kidney or liver damage, and an increased risk of diabetes.

Statins vs Zetia: Safety and Efficacy

If both medications lower your LDL cholesterol and both come with benefits and risks, which should you pick?

The right answer is also an unsatisfying one (to read, at least): Talking with your doctor will lead you to the right option.

That said, you should be an informed patient—and knowing something about which medication might help you and your goals will only help you and your doctor determine which cholesterol-lowering option is best.

When choosing between Zetia and statins, consider the following:

  • Why your cholesterol is high. Zetia works by reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol, while statins shut down your body’s internal production of cholesterol.
  • Whether your HDL cholesterol could use a boost. Statins may slightly increase the amount of HDL (or “good”) cholesterol you have in your system.
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Non-Statin Cholesterol Medications: Alternatives to Consider

If you’ve weighed your choices and determined you want to look outside statin medications to keep your cholesterol in check, we have good news.

There are medications beyond both Zetia and statins that you can consider. Each brings something a little different to the table.


Nexletol (bempedoic acid) is a cholesterol-lowering drug that works by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver that’s involved with cholesterol production—but it isn’t a statin. However, by targeting the body’s production of cholesterol, it can offer a similar method of action for people who don’t have great results with statins. Nexletol can come with side effects, which include increased uric acid levels and some muscle pain.

You can buy brand-name Nexletol through for about $5.00 per tablet or get the generic from us for less.


Nexlizet (bempedoic acid/ezetimibe) is a combination medication that brings together the powers of bempedoic acid (or brand Nexletol) and ezetimibe—the active ingredient in Zetia. This gives patients a powerful one-two punch, lowering both internal cholesterol production and blocking the absorption of cholesterol from food.

There are drawbacks of this powerful drug, however, such as increased liver enzyme levels. Your doctor will be able to help you determine if this is a strategy you need to pursue.

You can buy brand-name Nexlizet through for about $5.00 per tablet. We also carry a generic for even less.


Vascepa (icosapent) is a cholesterol-lowering med that’s based on omega-3 fatty acids. It works by targeting high triglyceride levels, which can be associated with heart disease. Vascepa can significantly reduce your triglycerides without raising your LDL, which distinguishes it from most over-the-counter omega-3 options.

You can buy brand-name Vascepa through for about $2.75 per tablet.


Lovaza (omega-3 acid ethyl esters) is, like Vascepa, an omega-3 medication that’s very effective for treating triglycerides. This makes it a popular alternative to Vascepa, especially for patients who have hypertriglyceridemia.

There is one note of caution, however: For some people, Lovaza can cause increased LDL levels. If you’re on it, you will need to work with a doctor to monitor your cholesterol, just to make sure Lovaza is working well for you and not causing more problems.

You can buy brand-name Lovaza through for about $2.50 per tablet or generic ones for much less.

Tricor Tablets

Tricor Tablets (called Lipidil EZ in Canada (fenofibrate nanocrystallized) are tablets that patients can use to lower both their triglyceride and unhealthy cholesterol levels. It works by helping the body eliminate unhealthy fats faster. This can be very helpful, but taking the medication incorrectly can lead to dangerous side effects. The side effects of Tricor Tablets include increased risk of gallstones, kidney issues, and muscle pain.

You can buy brand-name Tricor Tablets through for about $1.00 per tablet. Purchase the generic through us for still bigger savings!


Welchol (colesevelam) is a medication that can help lower LDL cholesterol in patients ten years of age or older. You can take Welchol alone or in concert with other medications to help improve cardiovascular health or even promote good blood sugar management.

Side effects of Welchol may include distressed stomachs, nausea, and constipation.

You can buy brand-name Welchol through for about $1.50 per tablet or get the generic tablets for even cheaper.


Colestid (colestipol) is a type of cholesterol-lowering drug that works by binding to bile acids in a patient’s intestine. This can help make LDL blood levels much lower. Colestid can be effective, but patients need to take it correctly—e.g., by eating it before meals. Colestid can come with several side effects, including digestive issues and abdominal discomfort.

You can buy brand-name Colestid through for about $0.60 per tablet and save even more when buying its generic through us.


Lopid (gemfibrozil) is a non-statin medication that can be used to reduce both triglyceride and cholesterol blood levels, especially for patients who are having a hard time managing these levels through lifestyle changes. If you take Lopid, be careful about following the instructions—failing to do so can result in a higher risk of side effects like weakness, muscle pain, and digestive issues.

You can buy brand-name Lopid through for about $1.00 per tablet the generic of Lopid for much less than that.


Questran (cholestyramine pwd) is a medication that can lower high cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids in a patient’s lower intestine. Often, doctors will prescribe this to patients along with recommendations for dietary changes. If you don’t take Questran as it’s supposed to be taken (always with a liquid), you may experience constipation or bloating.

You can buy brand-name Questran through for about $1.60 per packet and the generic for much less.


Niacin (vitamin B3) is a medication that comes in both prescription and OTC forms. When patients use Niacin, they generally start with a lower dose of the drug to minimize side effects, then gradually increase over time. The side effects that Niacin can come with include changes in blood sugar levels, digestive issues, and itchy skin.

You can buy a top brand of Niacin through for about $0.13 per pill.

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Is Zetia a Statin? No–But If You Need Either, Start Here

Living with imbalanced cholesterol can be sneakily dangerous. Often, high cholesterol comes with no symptoms at all, but to increase your chances of good health over the long term, you’ll need to take strategic care of your health even if you’re already feeling okay.

What that looks like for you, specifically, can vary (a lot). Your doctors will likely want you to start some mixture of lifestyle changes and medication to manage your cholesterol or to bring your LDL and triglycerides down while keeping your HDL high.

The way you respond to statin or non-statin cholesterol treatments will be very specific to you. Some people tolerate statins beautifully; others experience painful side effects. When you’re finding the medication that’s best for you and your symptoms, it’s important to be able to find and afford a range of brand and generic cholesterol medications, so you have legitimate options to explore.

In America, that can be difficult.

Fortunately, we’re here to help.

Through, you can buy high-quality name-brand medications from a safe Canadian pharmacy and international meds website. After browsing our easy-to-navigate website and reading about the prescription medications you need, you can simply add your medications to your cart, check out through our secure payment process, and have your medications shipped to your front door.

Interested in learning more about what we can offer you? Chat with our team of customer service representatives and pharmacists, or read our customer service reviews. Then, when you’re ready, place an order online or over the phone.

The team at looks forward to helping you support your healthcare journey!

The information provided on the website is intended to facilitate awareness about healthcare products and medical conditions generally but it is not a substitute for professional medical attention or advice. You should always speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any prescription or non-prescription drug.
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