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simvastatin - Zocor
Pronunciation: SIM va stah tin
Brand: Zocor


What is the most important information I should know about simvastatin - Zocor?
Do not take simvastatin without first talking to your doctor if you have liver disease.
Alcohol and simvastatin can both damage your liver. Discuss with your doctor the amount of alcohol that you drink so that it can be determined if simvastatin is the best choice for lowering your cholesterol.
Do not take simvastatin if you are pregnant, if you are planning a pregnancy, or if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if it is accompanied by a fever, flulike symptoms, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.


What is simvastatin?
Simvastatin blocks 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. Simvastatin (Zocor) 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.
Simvastatin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


Who should not take simvastatin?
Do not take simvastatin without first talking to your doctor if you have liver disease.
Before taking simvastatin, tell your doctor if you
      have kidney disease,
      drink alcoholic beverages,
      have a chronic muscular disease, or
      have a blood disorder.
You may not be able to take simvastatin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Simvastatin is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that simvastatin will cause birth defects if it is taken during pregnancy. Cholesterol is very important for the proper development of a baby. Do not take simvastatin if you are pregnant or if you are planning a pregnancy.
It is not known whether simvastatin passes into breast milk. Do not take simvastatin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Simvastatin is not approved for use by children.


How should I take simvastatin?
Take simvastatin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
For the greatest effect, simvastatin is usually taken at bedtime or with an evening meal. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Your doctor may want to monitor your liver function with blood tests before starting treatment with simvastatin and every six months after both the start of your treatment and any increase in dose. Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor can determine how much monitoring you will require.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with simvastatin. The interaction could lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit and grapefruit juice with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. To realize beneficial effects from simvastatin, avoid fatty, high-cholesterol foods.
Do not stop taking simvastatin without first talking to your doctor. It may be weeks or months before beneficial effects are seen from this medication.
Store simvastatin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.


What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.


What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of a simvastatin overdose include nausea, diarrhea, stomach distress, and indigestion.


What should I avoid while taking simvastatin?
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with simvastatin. The interaction could lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit and grapefruit juice with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Alcohol and simvastatin can both damage your liver. Discuss with your doctor the amount of alcohol that you drink so that it can be determined if simvastatin is the best choice for lowering your cholesterol.


What are the possible side effects of simvastatin?
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking simvastatin and call your doctor immediately:
      an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
      muscle aches, pain or weakness;
      "flu-like" symptoms;
      decreased urine or rust-colored urine;
      blurred vision; or
      yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take simvastatin and talk to your doctor if you experience
      gas, bloating, nausea, stomach upset, heartburn, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea;
      cough;
      headache; or
      insomnia.
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 other drugs will affect simvastatin?
Do not take simvastatin without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
      cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral);
      gemfibrozil (Lopid);
      niacin (Nicolar, Nicobid, Nicotinex, others);
      nefazodone (Serzone);
      clarithromycin (Biaxin);
      erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Ery-Tab, Ilotycin, Eryc, PCE, Ilosone, others); or
      itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), or ketoconazole (Nizoral).
These medications may interact with simvastatin and damage your muscles.
Before taking simvastatin, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
      other cholesterol-lowering drugs such as cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid);
      digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
      warfarin (Coumadin); or
      a protease inhibitor such as amprenavir (Agenerase), indinavir (Crixivan); nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), or saquinavir (Invirase, Fortovase).
You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with simvastatin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.


Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist has additional information about simvastatin written for health professionals that you may read.

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