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Zocor (Simvastatin) is used along with a proper diet to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as "statins." It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lowering "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides and raising "good" cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.
In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the evening. If you are using the tablet form of this medication, you may take this medication with or without food.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, take this medication on an empty stomach. Shake the bottle well for at least 20 seconds before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
The usual maximum dose for this medication is 40 milligrams a day. If you have been instructed by your doctor to take more than 40 milligrams, continue on that same dose. However, promptly talk with him or her about the risks and benefits of your higher dose.
Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.
It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Before taking simvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use. Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with simvastatin. This medication must not be used during pregnancy. Simvastatin may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication.
A very small number of people taking simvastatin may have mild memory problems or confusion. If these rare effects occur, talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms during treatment and if these symptoms last after your doctor stops this drug:
-Muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness)
-Signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine).
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at a regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What should I avoid while taking Zocor?
Grapefruit may interact with simvastatin and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.
Avoid eating foods high in fat or cholesterol, or simvastatin will not be as effective.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.