Simvastatin

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Simvastatin

simvastatin drug image

Brand Zocor

     Form Oral Tablet

     Drug Type Antihyperlipidemic-HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (Statins) 

 

Simvastatin is used along with a proper diet to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL and triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as "statins."

 

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Drug Information

Simvastatin is used along with a proper diet to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL and triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as "statins." It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lowering "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides and raising "good" cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the evening. If you use the tablet form of this medication, you may take this medication with or without food. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, take this medication on an empty stomach. Shake the bottle well for at least 20 seconds before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). The usual maximum dose for this medication is 40 milligrams a day. If your doctor has instructed you to take more than 40 milligrams, continue on that same dose. However, promptly talk with them about the risks and benefits of your higher dose.

Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick. It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. A very small number of people taking simvastatin may have mild memory problems or confusion. If these rare effects occur, talk to your doctor.

Rarely, statins may cause or worsen diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks. This drug may rarely cause muscle problems (which can rarely lead to very serious conditions called rhabdomyolysis and autoimmune myopathy). Older adults and Chinese people may be at higher risk. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms during treatment and if these symptoms last after your doctor stops this drug: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine). This medication may rarely cause liver problems.

Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of liver problems, including nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Before taking simvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, and alcohol use. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with simvastatin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially muscle problems.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all your products (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), cyclosporine, danazol, daptomycin, and gemfibrozil. Other medications can affect the removal of simvastatin from your body, which may affect how simvastatin works. Examples include certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole), cobicistat, colchicine, delavirdine, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, HIV protease inhibitors (such as nelfinavir, ritonavir), telithromycin, among others. Chinese people should not take niacin at doses used to lower cholesterol (1 gram or more) when taking this medication. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects (especially muscle problems). Talk with your doctor for details.

Do not take any red yeast rice products while you are taking simvastatin because some red yeast rice products may also contain a statin called lovastatin. Taking simvastatin and red yeast rice products together can increase your risk of serious muscle and liver problems.

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The information provided on this page is updated periodically. Please use our Drug Search Tool for the latest information and updates about this drug. The information on this site is not intended to take the place of your doctor or other healthcare professionals. It is a resource to help you make the best decisions and get the most from the medical services available to you. A licensed physician should be consulted to diagnose and treat all medical conditions.