Zocor, which is also known by the generic name “Simvastatin”, which is made by Merck Pharmaceuticals, is part of a drug class that is called “Statins”. Zocor, among other “statins” decreases the amount of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the body, and raises “good” cholesterol, which is commonly known as HDL. It can also lessen the amount of triglycerides in blood. The drug works by reacting to the liver, which in turn produces cholesterol and triglycerides. A doctor will usually suggest that patients taking Zocor, should also make lifestyle changes that include a proper diet, exercise and weight loss, if the patient is overweight, and to quit smoking if the patient smokes.
The Way that Zocor’s acts with reducing bad cholesterol, increasing good cholesterol along with lifestyle changes will cause a decrease in a patient’s risk of heart attacks.
Patients who are taking Zocor should not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruits themselves, as the interaction between grapefruit and Zocor could easily increase the levels of Simvastatin in the blood. Also, Patients taking other medications that promote cholesterol control such as cholestrymine or colstipol, also known as acid-binding resins, should only take Zocor one hour before or 4 hours after taking an acid-binding resin. If not, then these types of drugs can react with Zocor and keep if from being fully absorbed thereby reducing its effectiveness.
Zocor is an oral medication that is works most effectively when taken at bedtime.
Pregnant patients should not take Zocor because it might harm the fetus.
Zocor Oral Side Effects:
- Muscle Pain
A far more serious side effect, but fortunately less common is a condition knows as Rhabdomyolysis side effect. Rhabdomyolysis side effect usually begins with muscle pain, but left untreated can lead to:
- Muscle loss
- Muscle disease
- Kidney disease
- Kidney failure
So, a patient taking Zocor and then develops muscle pain must call his/her physician immediately as the condition can lead to death.
Symptoms of Rhabdomyolysis include:
- Intense muscle pain
- Muscle weakness (myopathy)
- Dark urine
Another Zocor related side effect is liver failure. Signs of liver failure include:
- Edema (swelling) in the legs
- Malaise or generally feeling ill
- Poor appetite
- Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these other liver failure symptoms:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Bleeding, such as vomiting blood or severe rectal bleeding
- Ascites (buildup of fluid and swelling in the abdomen)
- Muscle tremors or shakiness
- Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
- Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness