Simvastatin is part of the group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase or statins. It is helpful in reducing levels of bad cholesterol such as LDL or low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides in the blood while increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the blood. Regular use of Simvastatin effectively reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart complications in people who have coronary heart disease, diabetes, or other risk factors.
Simvastatin is prescribed for adults and children who are more than ten years old. It is particularly effective when used with a proper diet like a low-fat or a low-cholesterol diet.
Common side effects of Simvastatin are:
- Stomach pain
- Weakness or muscle pain
- Upper respiratory infections
In case of the following serious side effects go to the emergency room straight away:
- Kidney failure
- Rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown)
- Liver toxicity
- Muscle spasm
- Severe anemia
- Severe muscle pain or weakness
- A rash of any kind
- Severe allergic reaction with symptoms such as trouble in breathing and fever
- Extreme sensitivity to the sun
- Severe swelling of hand or feet
- Severe stomach pain
- Feeling tired or weak
- Severe vomiting or nausea
In rare cases, Simvastatin may cause memory problems or confusion in people. It may also cause your diabetes to worsen, therefore, talk to your doctor before using Simvastatin.
How to use Simvastatin
Use Simvastatin daily, preferably in the evening. If you are taking the Simvastatin tablet, take it by mouth with or without food. If you are taking Simvastatin in liquid form, then you should have an empty stomach. Shake the bottle and use a special measuring spoon to measure the dose carefully. Dosage may vary according to the patient’s condition and response to treatment. Chinese patients who are also taking niacin may need lower doses of Simvastatin.
The typical maximum dose of Simvastatin is 40 mg per day. However, your doctor may increase the dosage but be sure to discuss the risks of such a higher dose before taking Simvastatin. Avoid grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while you are using Simvastatin. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding exercise and diet to get the maximum benefits from Simvastatin. It may take a month before you may feel your condition getting better.
If you are taking lomitapide or any heart medicine such as amlodipine, dronedarone, amiodarone, diltiazem, verapamil, or ranalozine, be sure that your doctor is aware before you start using Simvastatin.
Share your medical history with your doctor to ensure that Simvastatin is safe for you especially if you have:
- A thyroid disorder
- History of kidney disease
- History of liver disease or
- If you have more than a couple of alcoholic beverages every day
Use of Simvastatin could cause a condition where patients may experience a breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue which can cause kidney failure. The risk of such disorder is higher in older people and in those who have poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or kidney disease.
Simvastatin can cause harm to an unborn child or cause birth defects; therefore, it should be avoided by pregnant women. It is highly advised to use adequate birth control measures while you are using Simvastatin. Mothers who are breastfeeding should not use Simvastatin without the doctor’s advice as it may pass into breast milk.
To avoid allergic reaction avoid using Simvastatin if you are allergic to it or any of its inactive ingredients. Taking too much of Simvastatin could result in life-threatening side effects. Make sure to follow the prescribed dosage.