niacin and simvastatin (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking niacin and simvastatin (Simcor)?
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to niacin (Niaspan, Niacor, and others) or simvastatin (Zocor, Vytorin), if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease, severe bleeding, or a stomach ulcer.
In rare cases, niacin and simvastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). You may also be more likely to develop this condition if you are of Chinese descent
The following drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems if you take them together with simvastatin. These drugs should not be used while you are taking niacin and simvastatin:
Before you start taking niacin and simvastatin, tell your doctor if you are already using any of these other medicines:
To make sure you can safely take niacin and simvastatin at any dose, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not take niacin and simvastatin if you are pregnant.Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy while you are taking niacin and simvastatin.
Niacin and simvastatin may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while you are taking niacin and simvastatin.
How should I take niacin and simvastatin (Simcor)?
Take exactly as prescribed. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully. Taking too much of this medication may cause serious or life-threatening side effects.
Niacin and simvastatin is usually taken at bedtime with a low-fat snack. Follow your doctor's instructions. Do not take niacin and simvastatin on an empty stomach.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
Niacin can cause certain side effects such as dizziness, sweating, chills, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin), fast or pounding heartbeats, shortness of breath, or feeling like you might pass out. These effects can be made worse if you drink alcohol or hot beverages shortly after you take niacin and simvastatin. These effects should disappear over time as you keep taking the medicine.
Your doctor may recommend you take aspirin 30 minutes before you take niacin and simvastatin to prevent certain side effects. Do not take aspirin without your doctor's advice. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much aspirin to take.
You may need to stop using niacin and simvastatin for a short time if you have:
If you stop taking niacin and simvastatin for longer than 7 days in a row, talk with your doctor before restarting the medication. You may need to start with a lower dose.
Niacin can raise your blood sugar, and may cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using niacin and simvastatin.
To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver function should be tested every 3 to 6 months. Visit your doctor regularly.
You may need to take niacin and simvastatin on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol. Do not stop taking this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
Niacin and simvastatin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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