Zocor® (Simvastatin) Interactions

Zocor® (simvastatin) is a medication prescribed along with a proper diet and exercise to lower a person's "bad" cholesterol, that is, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. In the last few years, researchers have found that the highest dose (80 mg/day) of Zocor® is causing muscle problems in some of its patients.

Data from these studies are so worrisome, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out notices warning patients and health care providers that the high 80 mg/day dose should be reserved just for patients who have been taking Zocor® for more than a year without any ill effects. Eighty milligrams per day should not be prescribed for new users of Zocor®, nor should it be prescribed for current users who are on a smaller dose of the drug and whose physicians want to raise their dose, the agency said.

The muscle problems caused by Zocor® are myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Myopathy is a less serious problem and produces muscle aches and pain. The condition can be bad enough to be debilitating. Rhabdomyolysis is a more severe form of the same condition. Patients with rhabdomyolysis suffer breakdown of their muscle tissue that can cause kidney damage, kidney failure and death.

Zocor® and Dangerous Drug Interactions

Both myopathy and rhabdomyolysis in patients on Zocor® are caused by having too much of the drug in their bodies. It is known that certain other drugs when taken at the same time as Zocor® also raise the levels of Zocor® in the system. These drugs must be avoided in order to prevent the body's level of Zocor® from rising too high.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned Zocor® users and their doctors that they should not also be taking the following drugs at the same time they are taking simvastatin:

  • Iitraconazole
  • Erythromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Telithromycin
  • HIV protease inhibitors
  • Nefazodone

No more than 10 mg of Zocor® should be used when taking gemfibrozil, cyclosporine, or danazol.

A maximum of 20 mg of Zocor® should be used if a patient is also taking amiodarone or verapamil. Patients taking diltiazem should be taking no more than 40 mg of Zocor®.

The main active ingredient in Zocor® is simvastatin. Two other drugs contain simvastatin in a combined form. These are ezetimibe that when combined with simvastatin is sold as Vytorin®, and niacin, that when combined with simvastatin is marketed as Simcor®.

The FDA has changed the labels on these drugs to include the drug interaction information. The medication should also not be taken with grapefruit juice or alcohol.

Contact Zocor® Attorneys Today

If you have taken Zocor® and then had serious myopathy or rhabdomyolysis, you should contact a Zocor® attorney who can help you be compensated for your pain and suffering. These attorneys are familiar with the side effects Zocor® causes and the legal issues involved. To schedule a free review of your case, please contact us today.

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