Am taking Zetia, but my Rx does not cover its cost. Am looking for a similar drug that is classed as a "Tier 1" drug under the 2009 Formulary for Medicare.
Thanks for your question.
Zetia is a drug that is used to lower cholesterol (both total and LDL) in addition to raising the good cholesterol, HDL. Unlike statin medication, zetia works in the intestine by blocking the absorption of cholesterol from the gut. There are no other drugs that work on cholesterol by this mechanism.
Statins work in the liver to block the production of cholesterol. These drugs are also beneficial in that they lower total cholesterol, LDL, and raise HDL.
Your doctor may choose to use a statin in place of the zetia, and I'm sure that one of the popular brands is available on your formulary. Be sure to discuss this with him/her on your next visit...or sooner.
Martin Cane, M.D.