Zocor® (Simvastatin) Dose
Zocor®, also sold under the generic name simvastatin, is a cholesterol-lowering prescription medication. It belongs to a class of drugs called statins. Zocor® works by reducing the amount of cholesterol created by the liver.
By lowering the amount of "bad" cholesterol including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides and increasing the amount of "good" cholesterol including high-density lipoprotein (HDL), Zocor® decreases the risk of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. This medication works best in patients who eat a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet and who engage in regular physical activity.
Zocor® is an oral medication and can be taken with or without food depending upon your doctor's recommendations. It's usually taken once a day. For the best results, Zocor® should be taken regularly and at the same time each day. The typical dosage amount for Zocor® ranges from 5 mg to 40 mg a day.
In some instances a higher dose may be prescribed. A patient's dosage varies , depending on factors such as:
- Medical condition
- Response to the drug
- Other medications he or she may be taking
Other medications include both prescription and over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
FDA Advises Against Use of 80 mg Dose
In June 2011, the FDA issued a safety alert regarding the highest dose of Zocor®, 80 mg. In the alert, the FDA said it is recommending that use of the 80 mg dose be "sharply curtailed because of the risk of muscle injury."
According to the agency, the 80 mg dose should be restricted to patients who have been taking it for more than a year and who haven't suffered any negative side effects. It's recommended that patients unable to achieve their cholesterol goal using a 40 mg dose of Zocor® should not be placed on a higher dosage amount. Instead, they should take another cholesterol-lowering medication in combination with Zocor®.
The agency based the alert on evidence that the risk of the muscle injury myopathy is greater in patients taking 80 mg of simvastatin/ day than those taking lower doses.
In rare instances, Zocor® may cause rhabdomyolysis which can lead to kidney failure. This condition is more likely to occur in patients taking an 80 mg dose of Zocor® than in patients taking a lower dosage, according to the FDA alert. The muscle problems are most likely to occur within the first year of treatment.
There are numerous drugs that patients should avoid while taking Zocor®. It's advised that patients tell their doctors about any medications they are taking or plan on taking while taking Zocor®; this includes over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products.
Patients who are already taking another cholesterol-lowering medication should take Zocor® at least one hour before or at least four hours after taking the other medication. Other cholesterol-lowering medications can react with Zocor®, preventing the body from fully absorbing it and decreasing its effectiveness.
Zocor® patients should also avoid grapefruit juice, unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider. Grapefruit juice can increase the amount Zocor® in a patient's bloodstream, resulting in an adverse reaction.
If you are starting on Zocor® as a new patient, you should talk to your doctor about the possible risks associated with the cholesterol medication. If you were prescribed the 80 mg dose and have suffered muscle damage, our Zocor® attorneys may be able to help you seek compensation for your suffering. Contacts us to schedule a free review of your case.