What is Simvastatin?

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Over the past several years your cholesterol levels have been slowly rising...you have tried to lower them with diet and exercise modifications...unfortunately, it has not been working. Therefore, your health care provider recommends starting a simvastatin medication regime. Eager to lower your high cholesterol you inquire...

What is simvastatin?

Simvastatin (Zocor) is a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor used to lower high cholesterol levels.

What is an example of a high cholesterol level?

An example of a high cholesterol level would be a total cholesterol level equal to or greater than 240 mg/dL.

Why is it important to lower high cholesterol levels?

Untreated high cholesterol can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

How can simvastatin lower high cholesterol levels?

Simvastatin lowers high cholesterol levels by affecting the synthesis of cholesterol.

How is simvastatin administered?

Simvastatin is typical administered by mouth once daily in the evening (simvastatin should be taken at the same time every day).

What is a typical simvastatin dose?

The typical adult dose of simvastatin used for cholesterol control is 40mg once daily.

What are simvastatin side effects?

Simvastatin side effects include: headaches, vertigo, abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, eczema, irregular heartbeat, elevated creatine phosphokinase levels, liver toxicity and upper respiratory infections.

What are simvastatin safety concerns?

Simvastatin safety concerns include:

Drug interactions - Simvastatin may interact with other medications...be sure to inform health care providers about any other medications (including herbal supplements) that may be taken concurrently with simvastatin.

Pregnancy - Simvastatin may affect child development. Health care providers should be notified if individuals taking simvastatin become pregnant. Caution is advised.

Breast-feeding - Simvastatin may be excreted into breast milk. Health care providers should be notified if individuals taking simvastatin are or plan to breast-feed their children. Caution is advised.

Liver impairment - Caution is advised in patients with liver impairment.

Kidney impairment - Caution is advised in patients with renal impairment.

Elderly patients - Caution is advised in patients 65 or older.

Grapefruit juice - Grapefruit juice may increase levels of simvastatin in the body. It is recommended to avoid grapefruit juice while on a simvastatin regimen.

Alcohol consumption - Excessive alcohol consumption may affect simvastatin. Caution is advised.

What are simvastatin monitoring parameters?

Simvastatin monitoring parameters include: liver function, CPK and cholesterol levels. It is recommended that cholesterol levels be reviewed at baseline and then routinely once the treatment goal has been achieved.

About the Author

Marc Macera, PharmD, RPh's picture

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