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Simvastatin (By mouth)
Lowers high cholesterol levels to prevent heart attack or other problems. Used in combination with a diet program to lower cholesterol. This medicine is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, and is sometimes called a "statin."
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to simvastatin. You should not use this medicine if you have liver disease, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You may take this medicine with or without food.
- Take the medicine in the evening, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about diet and exercise. This medicine is only part of a complete plan for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using digoxin (Lanoxin®), gemfibrozil (Lopid®), nefazodone (Serzone®), niacin, or an antibiotic (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin, Biaxin®, Diflucan®, Ery-Tab®, Ketek®, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®). Tell your doctor if you are using cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), danazol (Danocrine®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using certain blood pressure medicines (such as amiodarone, diltiazem, verapamil, Cardizem®, Cordarone®, or Inderal®) or medicines to treat HIV/AIDS (such as indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Agenerase®, Crixivan®, Invirase®, Norvir®, Sustiva®, or Viracept®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, diabetes, an underactive thyroid, or a muscle disorder. Make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of liver disease, heart problems, or stroke.
- Tell your doctor if you are of Chinese ancestry. You may need a slightly different dose of this medicine.
- If your doctor tells you to increase the amount of medicine you are taking or if you are just starting this medicine, make sure you tell the doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if with general feeling of discomfort or illness, fever, or dark-colored urine.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor. You may need a special diet to keep your cholesterol levels from going up after you stop using the medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol regularly.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
- Chest pain.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Fever, chills, and body aches.
- Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.
- Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- Mild gas or indigestion.
- Mild muscle or joint pain.
- Trouble sleeping.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor