What is simvastatin used for?
Simvastatin is used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fat) in the blood.
It is also used to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart complications in people with diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors.
Simvastatin is used in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.
How should I take simvastatin?
Simvastatin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day in the evening. Take simvastatin at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take simvastatin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of simvastatin and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 4 weeks.
Continue to take simvastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking simvastatin without talking to your doctor.
How do I store simvastatin?
Simvastatin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store simvastatin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of simvastatin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush simvastatin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using simvastatin?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of simvastatin or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have liver disease. Your doctor will order blood tests to see how well your liver is working even if you do not think you have liver disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take simvastatin if you have liver disease or if the tests show that you may be developing liver disease.
- You drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day, if you are 65 years of age or older, or if you are Asian, especially if you are Chinese.
- You are having surgery, including dental surgery.
- You are hospitalized due to serious injury or infection.
Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking simvastatin. Alcohol can increase the risk of serious side effects.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category X, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from simvastatin?
Simvastatin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Stomach pain
- Memory loss or forgetfulness
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical help.
- Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
- Dark red urine
- Decreased urination
- Lack of energy, tiredness, or weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Fever or chills
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Joint pain
- Sensitivity to light
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with simvastatin?
Simvastatin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug, including:
- Antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil) and voriconazole (Vfend)
- Boceprevir (Victrelis)
- Clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac)
- Cobicistat-containing medications (Stribild)
- Cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
- Erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
- Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- HIV protease inhibitors such as atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), saquinavir (Invirase), and tipranavir (Aptivus)
- Telaprevir (Incivek)
- Telithromycin (Ketek)
- Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
- Amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet, in Lotrel)
- Anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); colchicine (Colcrys)
- Digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)
- Dronedarone (Multaq)
- Other cholesterol-lowering medications such as fenofibrate (Tricor), lomitapide (Juxtapid), and niacin (nicotinic acid, Niacor, Niaspan)
- Ranolazine (Ranexa)
- Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan).
Does food or alcohol interact with simvastatin?
Simvastatin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with simvastatin?
Simvastatin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
These health conditions are:
- An underactive thyroid gland
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Kidney disease
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using simvastatin.
What is the dose of simvastatin for an adult?
The usual dosage range is 5 to 40 mg/day.
In patients with CHD or at high risk of CHD, simvastatin can be started simultaneously with diet. The recommended usual starting dose is 10 or 20 mg once a day in the evening.
For patients at high risk for a CHD event due to existing CHD, diabetes, peripheral vessel disease, history of stroke or other cerebrovascular diseases, the recommended starting dose is 40 mg/day.
Lipid determinations should be performed after 4 weeks of therapy and periodically thereafter.
What is the dose of simvastatin for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is simvastatin available?
Simvastatin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of simvastatin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Simvastatin. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a692030.html. Accessed January 7, 2016
Simvastatin https://www.drugs.com/dosage/simvastatin.html. Accessed January 7, 2016
Review Date: May 25, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019