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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking simvastatin (Zocor)?
You should not take simvastatin if you are allergic to it, if you have liver disease, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
In rare cases, 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 and you take high-dose simvastatin while also taking medication that contains niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others).
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 simvastatin:
Before you start taking simvastatin, tell your doctor if you are already using any of these other medicines:
To make sure you can safely take simvastatin, 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 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 simvastatin.
Simvastatin may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while you are taking simvastatin.
How should I take simvastatin (Zocor)?
Take exactly as prescribed. Never take simvastatin 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.
Simvastatin is usually taken at bedtime or with an evening meal. If you take simvastatin more than once daily, take it with meals. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
To be sure simvastatin 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 simvastatin on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol. You may need to stop using simvastatin for a short time if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Do not stop taking this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
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, heat, and light.
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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