Simvastatin is used together with diet, weight-loss, and exercise to reduce the amount of fatty substances such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ('bad cholesterol') and triglycerides in the blood and to increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ('good cholesterol') in the blood. Simvastatin may also be used to decrease the amount of cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood in children and teenagers 10 to 17 years of age who have familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia (an inherited condition in which cholesterol cannot be removed from the body normally). Simvastatin is also used to decrease the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death, and to decrease the need for surgery to improve blood flow in people who have medical conditions that put them at high risk of developing heart and blood vessel problems. Simvastatin is in a class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body to decrease the amount of cholesterol that may build up on the walls of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.
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.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
you should know that the risk that you will develop serious muscle and kidney problems during your treatment with simvastatin is higher if you are 65 years of age or older. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking simvastatin.
Eat a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet, which includes cottage cheese, fat-free milk, fish, vegetables, poultry, and egg whites and increase the amount of soluble fiber in your diet with foods such as oatmeal, kidney beans, and apples. Use monounsaturated oils such as olive, peanut, and canola oils or polyunsaturated oils such as corn, safflower, soy, sunflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils. Avoid foods with excess fat in them such as meat (especially liver and fatty meat), egg yolks, whole milk, cream, butter, shortening, pastries, cakes, cookies, gravy, peanut butter, chocolate, potato chips, coconut, cheese (other than cottage cheese), coconut oil, palm oil, and fried foods. Talk with your doctor or dietitian if you have any questions or would like more information about low-fat, low-cholesterol diets.
Avoid drinking large quantities (more than 1 quart [approximately1 liter] a day) of grapefruit juice while taking simvastatin.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue the regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
memory loss or forgetfulness
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.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests during your treatment, especially if you develop symptoms of liver damage.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 09/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.