Simvastatin, marketed under the trade name Zocor among others, is a lipid-lowering medication. It is used along with exercise, diet, and weight loss to decrease elevated lipid (fat) levels.
The reference site for Simvastatin
WHAT IS Simvastatin?
Simvastatin is a hypolipidemic drug belonging to the class of pharmaceuticals called “statins”. Simvastatin is used to control hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels) and to prevent cardiovascular disease. Simvastatin is a synthetic derivate of a fermentation product of Aspergillus terreus.
Some of the brand names of simvastatin include Zocor® and Zocor Heart Pro®, marketed by the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., as well as Denan® (Germany), Liponorm®, Sinvacor®, Sivastin® (Italy), Lipovas® (Japan), Lodales® (France), Zocord® (Austria and Sweden), and Simvahexal® and Lipex® (Australia) amongst others.
The U.S. patent applied to Zocor® recently expired in June 23, 2006. Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals & India-based Ranbaxy have been given approval to manufacture and sell simvastatin from this date.
Brand Name(s): Zocor, Vytorin
CAS nº: 79902-63-9
(sim’ va stat in)
The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to simvastatin and its correct use. Please read them carefully.
FDA approved Zocor® in 1991 to lower cholesterol. It has also been approved for reducing risks of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, strokes, and reducing the need for bypass surgery and angioplasty.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Simvastatin is an HMG CoA reductase inhibitor, and works by blocking the production of cholesterol (a type of fat) in the body.
Simvastatin is used to reduce the total amounts of cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides (another type of fat), and apolipoprotein B (a protein needed to make cholesterol) in your blood.
Additionally, this medication is also used to increase the level of HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood. These actions may reduce the risk of hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
Other uses for this medicine
Simvastatin has also been shown to slow the progression and/or induce regression of atherosclerosis in coronary arteries by reducing intimal-medial wall thikness.
Furthermore, this medication can be used to improve ejection fraction in cardiac transplant recipients.
However, it is important that you talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.
Dosage and using this medicine
Simvastatin comes in tablets to be taken orally. It is used in doses of 5 mg up to 80 mg. Higher doses (160 mg) have been found to be too toxic, while giving only minimal benefit in terms of lipid lowering.
It is usually taken once a day at bedtime.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. It is important not to take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
BEFORE TAKING SIMVASTATIN:
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to simvastatin or any other drugs.
You should also tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking, especially antiacids, anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin®), cholestyramine (Questran®), clarithromycin (Biaxin®), clofibrate (Atromid-S®), cyclosporine (Sandimmune®, Neoral®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), erythromycin, fenofibrate (TriCor®), gemfibrozil (Lopid®), HIV protease inhibitors such as ritonavir (Norvir®) and saquinavir (Invirase®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), nefazodone (Serzone®), niacin (nicotinic acid), and vitamins.
Moreover, please inform your doctor if you have or have ever had liver, kidney, or heart disease, a severe infection, low blood pressure, or seizures.
Simvastatin can harm the fetus, therefore please tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking simvastatin, stop taking simvastatin and call your doctor immediately.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking simvastatin.
Talk to your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while taking this drug. Alcohol increases the side effects caused by simvastatin.
Additionally, plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Simvastatin may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose.
Please do not take a double dose of this medication to make up for a missed one, as this may produce serious side effects.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Possible side effects from simvastatin may include:
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
difficulty breathing, closing of the throat
swelling of the lips, tongue or face
decreased urine or rust-colored urine
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
It is important to always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Please remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If you have any queries you should talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, then please call the local emergency services on 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
distress in digestion
PICTURES OF SIMVASTATIN PILLS
Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of simvastatin that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.
The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.
Strength(s): 10 MG
Imprint: ZOCOR | MSD 735
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.
Strength(s): 20 MG
Imprint: 93 | 7154
Manufacturer: TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS
Strength(s): 20 MG
Imprint: ZOCOR | MSD 740
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.
Distributor: PRESCRIPT PHARM.
Strength(s): 80 MG
Imprint: 80 | 543
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.
Distributor: PHYSICIANS TC.