Simvastatin helps lower your cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood.
Excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.
Simvastatin is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Take Simvastatin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. It is best to take it in the evening. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Simvastatin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Simvastatin unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have liver disease as Simvastatin may not be suitable for you.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while on Simvastatin therapy, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while taking this medicine. You must use proven birth control methods during Simvastatin therapy and 1-2 months after stopping the treatment.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with Simvastatin.
Do not take Simvastatin together with certain antibiotics and medicines to treat fungal infection, HIV infection, hepatitis C infection and depression. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- have thyroid disease
- have kidney disease
- consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
Your doctor may need to perform blood tests to make sure that your liver and kidney functions are normal before you take Simvastatin and thereafter depending on your doctor’s advice.
Some genetic traits can increase your risk of side effects from this medicine. If you have an alteration in your gene called SLCO1B1
, you are more likely to develop persistent muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, numbness or weakness from Simvastatin. Your doctor may perform genetic testing before giving you this medicine. If you know you have this gene type, inform your doctor. However, you may still develop muscle problems, even if you do not have this gene type. Monitor for signs of muscle or joint pain or weakness and let your doctor know immediately.
Simvastatin may cause dizziness. If you feel dizzy, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: constipation, nausea, stomach pain, stomach wind, indigestion, headache and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- persistent muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, numbness or weakness
- yellowing of the skin or the eyes
- brown or dark-coloured urine
- swollen eyes or mouth, breathlessness
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Simvastatin with the following medicines:
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, fusidic acid
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir
- medicines for Hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir
- nefazodone (medicine to treat depression)
- medicine for endometriosis (growth of tissues outside the lining of the uterus) e.g. danazol
- ciclosporin (medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders
- gemfibrozil (cholesterol-lowering medicine)
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- amiodarone (medicine for irregular heartbeat)
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. amlodipine, diltiazem, verapamil
- cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. fenofibrate, lomitapide
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- colchicine (medicine for gout)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Simvastatin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid excessive consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (more than 1 litre a day).
It is important for you to maintain a healthy, low-fat and balanced diet.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.