Highlights for simvastatin
- Myopathy and rhabdomyolysis warning: Simvastatin and other statin drugs can sometimes cause myopathy (muscle disease). They can even cause rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle breakdown). Rhabdomyolysis can lead to kidney failure. You have an increased risk of each condition if you:
- are a senior
- are female
- have kidney disease
- have low thyroid function
- unexplained muscle weakness or tenderness
- persistent muscle pain
- abdominal pain
- dark-colored urine
- Warning for liver disease and alcohol misuse: People with active liver disease shouldn’t use simvastatin. People with a history of alcohol abuse or liver disease should discuss the risks of this drug with their doctor. For these people, simvastatin can increase the risk of serious liver injury.
Tell your doctor right away if you experience:
Simvastatin is a prescription drug. It comes in two forms: a tablet and a suspension. Both forms are taken by mouth.
Simvastatin oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Zocor. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.
Why it’s used
Simvastatin oral tablet is used to:
How it works
Simvastatin belongs to the drug class known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also called statins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Statins work to reduce the body’s cholesterol production. They also reduce the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides moving through the body. High cholesterol and triglycerides are associated with increased risk of:
- heart disease
- heart attack
Statins are usually used in combination with lifestyle changes, such as changes to diet and exercise.
Simvastatin oral tablet doesn’t drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects that can occur with simvastatin include:
- stomach pain
- muscle pain or weakness
- joint pain
- upper respiratory infections
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown)
- severe muscle pain or weakness
- muscle spasms
- kidney failure
- liver toxicity
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- severe anemia
- severe allergic reaction, with symptoms such as fever and trouble breathing
- rash of any kind
- extreme sensitivity to the sun
- feeling weak or very tired
- severe stomach pain
- severe nausea or vomiting
- severe swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Can taking simvastatin increase my risk of diabetes?
There is a small risk of increased blood sugar levels and even diabetes from taking simvastatin. Your doctor should occasionally check your blood sugar levels while you take simvastatin. If you already have diabetes, your doctor should regularly check your blood sugar level. Your doctor should also regularly check your hemoglobin A1C level, which can indicate if your average blood sugar level has been high over an extend period (2–3 months).
Healthline Pharmacist Review TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Simvastatin oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with simvastatin are listed below.
Strong CYP3A4 Inhibitors
These drugs block your body from breaking down simvastatin. This can lead to very high levels of the drug in your body. It can also increase side effects, including rhabdomyolysis.
These drugs should not be used with simvastatin. If treatment with these drugs is required, the use of simvastatin must be on hold during the course of treatment. Examples of these drugs include:
Other cholesterol-lowering drugs
When used with simvastatin, some cholesterol drugs can increase side effects such as myopathy or rhabdomyolysis. If you use these drugs with simvastatin, your…