High Cholesterol and Zocor Side Effects

November 12, 2012

High Cholesterol and Zocor Side Effects

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may have prescribed Zocor (Simvastatin) to bring your cholesterol levels down particularly the bad cholesterol (LDL). Zocor belongs to the statin class of medications that helps to lower your chances of blood vessel problems from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries by plaque build up). Zocor is also used in patients who have diabetes to lower their heart attack risk and other patients who have peripheral artery disease (PAD). If you are taking Zocor there are some things you need to know about Zocor Side Effects.

Since Zocor is a member of the statin family of drugs it has similar side effects. In June 2011, the FDA made recommendations on how to dose patients. Reports indicated that high doses were generating myopathy and myalgia. Patients who are already taking 80mg daily for a period of one year or more who do not have myopathy and myalgia side effects can not take more than 80mg daily. However, the FDA now limits the daily dose to 40mg. This ruling came about because of clinical studies demonstrating that there was a greater incidence of muscle disease in patients taking 80mg of Zocor daily than what had been observed with other statins. It has been suggested that patients who can not achieve their LDL goals may need to change to Crestor, Lipitor or add a second medication. The second therapy might involve niacin, Zetia or make serious changes to their diet and exercise routines.

Zocor Side Effects go beyond myalgias (muscle pain) and then eventually myopathies (muscle cell damage) for some patients. Serious inflammatory myopathies include rhabdomyolysis (muscle fiber cell death) which releases myofibrilis and myoglobin which can generate kidney failure and death. Other Zocor Side effects involve the gastrin trustable tract. Gastrin is the hormone that releases gastric acid in the stomach to break down food. Zocor interferes with this tract and causes stomach pain, diarrhea, gas and constipation.

Zocor Side Effects go beyond muscle, stomach and kidney problems. Upper respiratory infections (URI) and asthenia are also reported. URI involves congestion, runny nose, sneezing, fever, sore throat and headaches whereas asthenia is a description for having no energy or strength, weakness and having heavy sleeping.

Additionally, Zocor carries hepatotoxicity (liver poison) which can be minor to severe. Cases have been reported although rare of pancreatitis, anaphylaxis, interstitial lung disease, Stevens Johnson syndrome photosensitivity, epidermal necrolysis, lupus erythematosis, vasculitis, leukopenia, hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia.

Zocor carries further precautions because of its many side effects. Any female of child bearing age should not take Zocor. In fact, most doctors will not give women Zocor or any other statin medication. Zocor is classified as a pregnancy category X which means it is a fetal risk. If you have any liver disease or consume significant amounts of alcohol, Zocor is off limits. If you any muscle problems, Zocor is not for you.

Zocor should not be used with azole antifungal medications, erythromycin class of drugs, antiviral drugs used to treat HIV or cyclosporine due to serious repercussions.

All in all, Zocor Side Effects are many such that it would seem best not to take it unless absolutely necessary. Consider exercise and diet your first line of defense if you can.

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