What Is Zocor?
Zocor, also known as Simvastatin, is in a group of drugs that are called statins or HMG CoA reductase inhibitors. These drugs work to reduce your levels of bad cholesterol which is low density lipoprotein and will decrease the level of triglycerides in the blood. These medications will also help to increase the level of high density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol in the body.
Zocor is used to lower triglycerides which are types of fat in the blood as well as lower cholesterol.
This drug can be used as well to lower the risk of heart attack, heart complications and stroke. People with coronary heart disease, diabetes and other factors may be prescribed Zocor to help prevent these things from occurring.
Zocor is approved for children ages 10 and up and adults.
This medication may have various other uses as determined by your doctor.
Important Things You Should Know About Zocor
There are several things that you should know before taking Zocor. They are as follows:
- Many drugs may interact with Zocor. You will need to take a list of medications in to your doctor before beginning this drug. Make sure that you also list any over the counter medication as well as medication of a natural or homeopathic variety including any kind of herbal medication you may be taking.
- Do not use this drug if you are pregnant. It can harm the unborn baby and cause birth defects.
- There have been rare cases in where Zocor causes the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. This has lead to kidney failure. If you have any dark colored urine, unusual tiredness, fever, muscle tenderness, pain or weakness you should call your doctor immediately.
- Before you take this medication you will need to report to your doctor whether you are of Chinese decent, drink alcohol, have liver or kidney disease, or have a diabetes or a thyroid problem.
- The fruit grapefruit and its juice can interact with Zocor. Avoid eating or drinking the juice of the grapefruit while on this medication.
- Be mindful of your dosage instructions and never take Zocor in large amounts or change your dose. This can cause serious side effects and can even lead to death.
Discussing Zocor with Your Doctor
When you go into your doctor there are several things that he and she will tell you and several things that you will need to discuss before you start taking Zocor.
If you have ever been allergic to the drug Zocor in any way you will not be able to take it again as there is a risk for a life threatening reaction.
There are medications that can create dangerous side effects when taken with Zocor. Your doctor will have to decide whether or not Zocor is right for you if you take the following medications:
- Antibiotics including erythromycin, telithromycin, and clarithromycin.
- Antifungal medications including posaconazole, itraconazole, and ketoconzanole.
- The following HIV/AIDS medications, nelfinavir, ritonavir, tipranavir, atazanavir, daruanvir, fosamprenavir, and saquinavir.
If you are on the following medications you will need to tell your doctor that you are taking them:
Before you take this medication you will need to tell your doctor if you have the following:
- Thyroid disorder.
- If you drink alcohol.
- Kidney disease.
- Liver disease.
Letting your doctor know of the above problems can help him or her decide whether or not Zocor is right for you.
This drug is a FDA pregnancy category X. This means that you cannot take Zocor while pregnant as it has been shown to cause birth defects. Stop taking the medication if you do become pregnant and call your doctor immediately. While you are taking this drug you should be using an effective form of birth control.
You will not be able to breastfeed while taking Zocor. It may pass on through your milk and cause harm to your breast feeding child.
Zocor Side Effects
Zocor can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Seek emergency care if you experience swelling of your lips, face, tongue or throats, as well as hives, and difficulty breathing.
Do not continue taking Zocor and contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Dark colored urine.
- Pain or burning when you urinate.
- Memory loss or problems.
- Unexplained muscle pain, weakness or tenderness.
- Weight gain.
- No or little urination.
- Increased thirst.
- Increased urination.
- Dry mouth.
- Fruity breath odor.
- Dry skin.
- Blurred vision.
- Weight gain.
- Clay colored stools.
Some less severe side effects include:
- Cold symptoms like a sore throat, sneezing and stuffy nose.
- Sleep problems including insomnia.
- Joint pain.
- Mild muscle pain.
- Mild nausea.
- Stomach pain.
- Mild skin rash.
There may be some symptoms that are not listed. If you experience a symptom that you do not see listed, call your doctor to let them know about it. You can also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report any new side effects about a drug.
Zocor Drug Interactions
There are many drugs that may interact with this medication that you will need to tell your doctor about.
- Drugs that weaken the immune system such as anti rejection medications, and cancer medications.
- Blood thinners.
- Fenofibric acid or fenofibrate.
- Any other statin medication.
What Should I Not Do While Taking Zocor
You should not eat foods that are high in cholesterol or fat. If you eat fatty foods and cholesterol ridden foods you will find yourself with a cholesterol level that is not working. Zocor can only work with you, if you are eating a proper diet.
Avoid alcohol while taking Zocor. Alcohol can raise your triglyceride level and can increase the risk of liver damage from this drug.
Do not consume any grapefruit or grapefruit products while on this medication as it can have dangerous side effects.
Zocor Dosage Information
The doctor that prescribes this medication to you will go over your dosage information and directions on how to take the medication. This information will also be written down on the pill bottle when you pick the medication up from the pharmacy. Take this medication exactly as prescribed and never take more or less than what you should. If you take less you will not get any usefulness out of the medication. If you take more than what you are prescribed you could be risking your life or putting yourself at risk for severe side effects.
Zocor will require you to have blood tests at your doctor’s office. This is due to the fact that your doctor must monitor your triglyceride levels as well as your cholesterol levels. Your doctor will also be able to check and make sure that the medication is not affecting your liver.
This medication is generally taken with the evening meal or at bedtime. If you take the medication several times during the day it is best to take with a meal to avoid any problems with stomach upset or nausea.
As time goes on your doctor may want to change your dosage depending on how well your body is reacting to the Zocor.
Store this medication away from light, moisture and heat, so that it can retain its effectiveness.
Zocor is not a miracle drug and will not make your cholesterol completely at a healthy level. You must adapt a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a proper diet and weight loss.
Many people take Zocor for long term treatment of their high cholesterol. You will have to temporarily come off of this medication if you have a medical emergency or surgery. Do not come off this medication without consulting your doctor first.
Overdose on Zocor
It is possible to overdose on Zocor. A typical overdose symptom would be trouble breathing, trouble thinking, and extreme tiredness. If you experience any of the following seek emergency medical attention.
Missing a Dose
If you miss a dose of Zocor wait until your next time to take it. Be sure that you do not take any extra medication as this could cause severe side effects. Set a timer every day if you have trouble remembering your medication.