10.3 C
New York
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Buy now

Zocor (simvastatin): Statin Uses, Side Effects & Dosage

What is Zocor?

Zocor is a cholesterol-lowering drug.
It belongs to a class of drugs called
or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Other statins include:

Is Zocor available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for Zocor?


Why is Zocor prescribed to patients?

What is the dosage for Zocor?

  • The recommended dose range of simvastatin is 10 mg to 40 mg,
    and it is administered once daily in the evening with or without food. Therapy
    usually is initiated with 10 or 20 mg daily, but individuals who have a high
    risk of
    heart disease can be started on 40 mg daily.
  • Simvastatin 80 mg is
    restricted to patients who have been taking simvastatin 80 mg chronically (for
    example, for 12 months or more) without evidence of muscle toxicity because the
    80 mg dose is associated with increased risk of muscle toxicity, including
    rhabdomyolysis. Patients who are currently tolerating the 80 mg dose of
    simvastatin who need to start an interacting drug that should not be taken with
    simvastatin or is associated with a dose cap for simvastatin should be switched
    to an alternative statin or statin-based regimen with less potential for the
    drug-drug interaction.
  • Patients that require more than the 40 mg dose should be
    switched to an alternative drug.

Latest Cholesterol News

Daily Health News

Trending on MedicineNet

What are the side effects of Zocor?

The most common side effects of simvastatin are:

Other side effects include:

What are the more serious side effects of Zocor?
  • The most serious potential side effects are liver damage and muscle inflammation or
    breakdown. Simvastatin shares side effects, such as liver and muscle damage
    associated with all statins. Serious liver damage caused by statins is rare.
    More often, statins cause abnormalities of liver tests. Abnormal tests usually
    return to normal even if a statin is continued, but if the abnormal test value
    is greater than three times the upper limit of normal, the statin usually is
    stopped. Liver tests should be measured before simvastatin is started and if
    there is a medical concern about liver damage thereafter.
  • Inflammation of the
    muscles caused by statins can lead to a serious breakdown of muscle cells called
    rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis causes the release of muscle protein (myoglobin)
    into the blood. Myoglobin can cause
    kidney failure and even death. When used
    alone, statins cause rhabdomyolysis in less than one percent of patients. To
    prevent the development of rhabdomyolysis, patients taking simvastatin should
    contact their health care professional immediately if they develop unexplained
    weakness, or muscle tenderness.
  • Statins have been associated with
    increases in HbA1c and fasting serum
    glucose levels as are seen in


What is cholesterol?
See Answer

Which drugs or supplements interact with Zocor?

Decreased elimination of simvastatin could increase
the levels of simvastatin in the body and increase the risk of muscle toxicity
from simvastatin. Examples of drugs that decrease elimination of simvastatin

They should not be combined with simvastatin.

Large quantities of grape fruit juice (>1 quart daily) also will increase blood levels
of simvastatin and should be avoided.

The following drugs should not be used with simvastatin:

Patients taking amiodarone, amlodipine, or ranolazine
should not exceed 20 mg, and patients taking verapamil or diltiazem should not
exceed 10 mg of of simvastatin daily. Patients taking gemfibrozil or danazol
should not take simvastatin.

Simvastatin increases the effect of warfarin
(Jantoven, Coumadin) and the blood concentration of digoxin (Lanoxin). Patients taking
simvastatin and warfarin or digoxin should be monitored carefully.

Cholestyramine (Questran) decreases the absorption of ezetimibe (Zetia);
Therefore, simvastatin should be taken 2 hours before or at least 4 hours after

Chinese patients taking ≥1 g/day of niacin in combination with simvastatin 40 mg have an increased risk of muscle-related side effects.
Therefore, these patients should not receive simvastatin 80 mg combined with
niacin in doses ≥1 g/day. Simvastatin doses greater than 20 mg daily should be
administered cautiously when combined with niacin ≥1 g/day.

Subscribe to MedicineNet’s Heart Health Newsletter

By clicking “Submit,” I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Is Zocor safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • Pregnant women should not use simvastatin because the developing fetus requires cholesterol for development, and simvastatin reduces the production of cholesterol. Simvastatin should only be administered to women of child bearing age if they are not likely to become pregnant.
  • Because of the risk of adverse effects to the developing infant, simvastatin should not be administered to
    nursing mothers.

What else should I know about Zocor?

What preparations of Zocor are available?
  • Tablets: 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg.
  • Orally disintegrating tablets: 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg.
How should I keep Zocor stored?
  • Tablets should be stored between 5-30 C (41-86 F).
  • Orally disintegrating tablets should be stored between 20-25 C (68-77
How does simvastatin (Zocor) work?

Statins reduce cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver (HMG-CoA reductase) that is
necessary for the production of cholesterol. In the blood, statins lower total
and low density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol as well as triglycerides.
LDL cholesterol is believed to be an important cause of coronary artery disease.
Lowering LDL cholesterol levels slows and may even reverse coronary artery
disease. Statins also increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good"
cholesterol. Raising HDL cholesterol levels, like
lowering LDL cholesterol may
slow coronary artery disease.

When was simvastatin (Zocor) approved by the FDA?

The FDA approved simvastatin in Decembe, 1991.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles