Simvastatin is used along with a proper diet to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as "statins." It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lowering "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides and raising "good" cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.
In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the evening. If you are using the tablet form of this medication, you may take this medication with or without food.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, take this medication on an empty stomach. Shake the bottle well for at least 20 seconds before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Chinese patients taking niacin may require lower doses of simvastatin. Ask your doctor for more details.
The usual maximum dose for this medication is 40 milligrams a day. If you have been instructed by your doctor to take more than 40 milligrams, continue on that same dose. However, promptly talk with him or her about the risks and benefits of your higher dose.
Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.
It is very important to continue to follow your doctors advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Simvastatin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
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
lack of energy, tiredness, or weakness
loss of appetite
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
yellowing of the skin or eyes
dark colored urine
fever or chills
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
difficulty breathing or swallowing
sensitivity to light
This medication may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Should be stored at room temperature away from light and moisture.Storage temperature ranges differ according to different manufacturers, so consult your pharmacist for more information. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Discard the suspension form of this medication one month after opening the bottle, even if there is medication left.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), cyclosporine, danazol, gemfibrozil.
Other medications can affect the removal of simvastatin from your body, which may affect how simvastatin works. Examples include certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole), boceprevir, cobicistat, colchicine, delavirdine, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, HIV protease inhibitors (such as nelfinavir, ritonavir), telaprevir, telithromycin, among others.
Do not take any red yeast rice products while you are taking simvastatin because some red yeast rice products may also contain a statin called lovastatin. Taking simvastatin and red yeast rice products together can increase your risk of serious muscle and liver problems.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.