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SIMVASTATIN

Brand Name(s) : Zocor, Simvador, Inergy (in combination with ezetimibe)
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

SIMVASTATIN WARNINGS

Simvastatin should be used with caution in:

  • The elderly
  • People who have previously had liver disease or who regularly drink alcohol to excess
  • People with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • People with kidney problems
  • Patients awaiting surgery
  • People who have or have ever had muscle pain or cramps, or if the patient or a close family member has an inherited (genetic or hereditary) muscle disorder
  • People with acute porphyria (a blood disease).
  • People with severe lung disease

It should not be used in: people allergic to simvastatin or to any other ingredient in the medicine, patients with current liver problems, women who are pregnant, likely to become pregnant (women of child-bearing potential not using contraception) or who are breastfeeding, people taking the following drugs: nefazodone, nelfinavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, or telithromycin

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Store below 25°C

SIMVASTATIN USES

Simvastatin is used to treat a number of problems.

It is a member of a class of drugs called hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, usually known as statins.

In general, this drug is used to modify blood fats (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels).

Benefits of being on this drug include reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease events (e.g. heart attacks, stroke) and prolonged life.

Listed below are the typical uses of simvastatin:

  • Treating abnormal blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels (hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia) in conjunction with diet.
  • For patients with heart or blood-vessel disease and/or diabetes, with normal or high cholesterol levels to prevent further cardiovascular events (e.g. heart attacks or stroke) and to prolong lifespan.

However on occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on this list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • This medication is available as a tablet and as an oral suspension, which should be taken by mouth, usually as a single dose every evening.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before you notice any benefits of this drug.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid drinking grapefruit juice and keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

SIMVASTATIN SIDE EFFECTS

  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Wind (flatulence)
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Liver disease (indicated by jaundice [yellowing of skin and/or eyes], itchiness, dark coloured urine and pale coloured stools)
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Numbness of legs or arms
  • Anaemia (lack or red blood cells)
  • Hair loss
  • Rash
  • Feeling weak.
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: muscle aches and pains, tenderness, weakness or cramps.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website

SIMVASTATIN PRECAUTIONS

Before taking simvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other similar drugs (statins); or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • any liver or kidney problems
  • an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • if you drink substantial quantities of alcohol
  • if you have muscle pains, cramps or muscle tenderness or weakness.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • any previous liver problems
  • any previous unexplained muscle pains, cramps or muscle tenderness or weakness
  • if you or a close family member has had a hereditary (genetic) muscle disorder or muscle problems with statins or other lipid-modifying drugs
  • if you have acute porphyria (a blood disease).
  • if you have severe lung disease

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Yes. Keep alcohol intake to a minimum whilst taking simvastatin.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Simvastatin is not safe to take during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Simvastatin is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

SIMVASTATIN INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur: Ciclosporin, danazol, gemfibrozil, nefazodone, nelfinavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, fusidic acid, erythromycin, clarithromycin, or telithromycin.

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting simvastatin.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • Amiodarone
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Colchicine
  • Bezafibrate
  • Fenofibrate
  • Amlodipine
  • Verapamil
  • Diltiazem
  • Warfarin
  • Nicotinic acid.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using simvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

SIMVASTATIN OVERDOSE

Few cases of overdose have been reported and all patients recovered without any further consequences.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of simvastatin or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111 or NHS Direct. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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