What You Should Know
Simvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering drug commonly prescribed as Zocor. The drug is reserved for patients who’ve tried diet, weight loss and exercise to lower cholesterol naturally, but did not manage to lower cholesterol to healthy levels. The primary diagnosis for which simvastatin is prescribed is dyslipidemia, or high cholesterol/fat in the blood. The main causes of the condition include poor diet and long-term diabetes. Simvastatin is a prescription medication that requires a physician’s authorization. The drug should not be taken without the care and checkups provided by your physician.
List of Ingredients
- Hypolipidemic Drug
Simvastatin works by lowering low density lipoproteins, bad cholesterol. According to the company that manufactures and sells the drug, a drop of up to 50% may be measured after regular use of the drug. Patients are dosed from five to 80 mg. Higher doses may be toxic and do not represent additional benefit.
Side effects associated with simvastatin include diarrhea, stomach pain, weakness and indigestion. Joint pain, muscle cramps and memory loss have been reported, though rarely. Changes in the drug profile have been initiated by the Food and Drug Administration after the drugs approval. The latest additions to the profile, as of January 2013, came in March 2012 when elevated blood glucose, development of type 2 diabetes and liver damage were added to the list of side effects to track. Some doctors, including Dr. Eric J Topol of Scripps Health, claim the potential for type 2 diabetes is higher than reported.
- May lower bad cholesterol.
- May reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- May cause a myriad of side effects, possibly including diabetes and liver damage.
- Not effective for all patients.
Drugs like simvastatin are useful for some patients who’ve tried to lose weight, eat right and exercise to lower bad cholesterol with no luck. Sometimes genetics and other factors play a part in overall cholesterol levels. It is in these cases that drugs like simvastatin are used to reduce bad cholesterol and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol/fat in the blood. However, statins come with a long list of potential side effects and taking simvastatin is not without risk. Some experts believe the drug may be more harmful than helpful, especially in patients with diabetes or those at higher risk of developing the adult-onset variety of the disease. Before taking simvastatin, or any cholesterol-lowering drug, it is imperative to talk with your physician about the risks/benefits of the medication.