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Difference between vytorin and zetia

Vytorin and Zetia are drugs which help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Most of the cholesterol is produced naturally in the body and some of it comes from the food we take. Thus, it can be a very difficult task to lower cholesterol coming from different sources.

Both Vytorin and Zetia are a class of drugs called as ‘statins’ which help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Both help to selectively lower the absorption of cholesterol and the fats by the gut. This class of drugs is available only in a pharmacy and requires a prescription. These medications should be taken carefully under medical supervision. These drugs are known to interact with other medications and cause serious complications.

These are similar drugs but for certain differences in their composition and action.

Difference in composition

Vytorin is a combination of two drugs, namely, ezetimibe and simvastatin in a single tablet. Zetia only contains ezetimibe. Zetia is combined along with other drugs to reduce cholesterol levels. So Zetia is given in combination with other cholesterol lowering drugs and Vytorin is normally prescribed alone.

Difference in mode of action

Zetia and Vytorin both have act on the gut wherin they prevent absorption of cholesterol, thus reducing the levels of the cholesterol in the body.

In addition to this, Vytorin contains an additional drug simvastatin which has an additional effect of prevention of cholesterol production from the liver. It inhibits the enzyme required for cholesterol production in the liver. Simvastatin also promotes good cholesterol formation that is High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and reduces bad cholesterol that is Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VDL) and triglycerides.


Zetia should not be used by people who have an active liver disease or people with increased levels of liver enzymes (SGOT, SGPT, etc). Along with this, both drugs are totally contraindicated in pregnant and nursing women.

Vytorin in addition to above contraindications should also not be taken by people who are on antifungal medication, antibiotics and HIV medication.

Dosage and manufacturers

Both these drugs are produced by the same pharmaceutical company. Zetia is available in tablets of 10mg. Vytorin is available in dosages of 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80mg.

Indications for prescription

Both are prescribed for lowering cholesterol, but Vytorin is known to have some effect in lowering chances of heart attack as it contains a statin.

Zetia can be prescribed for patients who are contraindicated for statin use or who have been trying a statin for long with no significant cholesterol-lowering effect.

Both medications should be taken along with a strict program of exercise and diet. This goes a long way in helping to reduce cholesterol levels. It is also important to inform your doctor of all your allergies and medications you are presently taking. These drugs can have side effects and may interact with other medications.


Vytorin and Zetia are cholesterol reducing drugs which are prescribed to bring a balance in the cholesterol levels in the body. Both act similarly, i.e. they reduce cholesterol absorption from the gut. The chief difference is the content of these two brands which is a statin. Vytorin is basically Zetia in combination with simvastatin in the same tablet. Either drug should not be taken without a medical consultation. These drugs help in reducing cholesterol but should be taken along with a strict diet and exercise.

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