Simvastatin Side Effects
All the latest news about the Side Effects of Simvastatin
Sometimes referred to as Zocor, Simvastatin is a drug used in lowering bad cholesterol in the body. It works by reducing the production of the HMG-CoA enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making bad cholesterol. Simvastatin belongs to the Statins group of drugs which are synonymous with reducing not only cholesterol, but triglycerides as well. More specifically, the cholesterol reduced by this drug is low density lipoprotein (LDL) which is the main cause of coronary heart disease. Besides lowering LDL levels, Simvastatin also increases high density lipoprotein (HDL) which is the good kind of cholesterol.
As alluded to earlier, Simvastatin is mainly prescribed to patients that need their cholesterol levels lowered. Therefore, those with coronary heart disease, diabetes, or peripheral vascular disease are ideal candidates for this drug. It may also be suitable for those who have had a history of stroke as it lowers the chances of undergoing such processes as non-coronary and coronary revascularization.
Despite the positive benefits of Simvastatin, it is still a drug and as happens with countless others, side effects are inevitable. It is thus important to be fully aware of potential side effects in order to be prepared and protect both you and your loved ones. The good news, however, is that most of these side effects are manageable and treatable although there are those that are known to escalate. Having undergone rigorous clinical studies and trials and based on clinical reports, less than 2% of all patients who use Simvastatin report experiencing any side effects.
The need for regular check-ups can, therefore, not be overstated. Your doctor should be able to tell you whether the side effects that you are experiencing are normal or if they are an indicator of more serious medical concerns. Being aware of such concerns is vital so that you are not caught unawares. Below, we take a look at 6 Simvastatin side effects- both rare and common as follows:
Muscle problems/ Rhabdomyolysis
Although a rare side effect, Simvastatin can lead to Rhabdomyolysis which is a condition where there is rapid destruction of the skeletal muscles resulting in the muscle protein myoglobin leaking into the urine. This is a very serious condition that should be brought to your doctor’s attention as soon as you begin developing muscle pains that are accompanied by fever, or notice a change in your urine levels.
This is another rare but serious side effect of this cholesterol lowering drug that should be brought to your doctor’s attention as soon as you notice symptoms that may indicate liver damage. These include jaundice (a yellowish color in your skin and/or eyes), change in urine color and amount, abdominal area/ stomach pains, vomiting, and nausea.
Though rare, allergic reactions, developing rashes can signify an allergic reaction to Simvastatin. Aside from rashes, itching and hives can also be manifest in a patient. Other indicators of an allergic reaction include swelling in the throat, tongue, and face area. The former can be especially dangerous as it can lead to breathing difficulties since the swollen throat and tongue can block air passages. Besides throat and mouth swelling, even a person’s lips can become swollen.
Joint pains, gastrisis, Cholestatic Hepatitis
Even when prescribed in low doses, Simvastatin can still cause side effects such as joint pains, muscle aches, and cramps. Further it can also contribute to gastrisis and Cholestatic Hepatitis with the latter manifesting itself with pale stool, itching skin, and jaundice-yellowish skin and eyes. Pancreatic damage can also occur which may result in pancreatitis.
Memory loss, depression, anxiety, and insomnia
These are also associated with Simvastatin use and hence the reason why it is absolutely essential for an effective care plan for patients to include friends, families, and loved ones so as to help them through the medication stage and in dealing with possible adverse side effects. For instance, this drug has been known to cause breast development and impotence in boys.
May harm unborn babies
Simvastatin is not recommended for pregnant women as it not only affects the developing baby, but may cause it congenital defects as well. Additionally, lactating mothers are advised not to take this drug before consulting with their doctor. Also, if you are intent on having a baby, it is prudent to consult your obstetrician regarding the prescription of this drug in order to get an informed opinion.
Simvastatin Side Effects