Simvastatin is used, along with a cholesterol-lowering diet, to help lower cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in the blood. Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Take this medication by mouth usually once daily in the evening, with or without food. Certain medical conditions (e.g., familial hypercholesterolemia) may require more frequent dosage instructions as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. It may take up to 4 weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.
Headache, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, gas, or stomach upset/pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: joint pain, muscle pain or weakness, fever, unusual tiredness, chest pain, swelling in the arms or legs, dizziness. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine, change in amount of urine, vision problems, black stool, severe stomach pain. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is not recommended for use if you have the following medical conditions: liver problems. Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: heart disease, kidney problems, eye problems (e.g., cataracts), thyroid problems, uncontrolled seizures, recent serious infection, recent major surgery, low blood pressure, alcohol use, any allergies (especially to other "statin" drugs). Daily use of alcohol may increase your chance for serious side effects. Limit alcoholic beverages. This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is recommended that women of child-bearing age use effective birth control measures while taking this drug since simvastatin may cause fetal harm. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
This drug is not recommended for use with: mibefradil, protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, amprenavir, lopinavir), azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole). Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: colestipol, cholestyramine, niacin (nicotinic acid) or niacin-containing products, cyclosporine, macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin), fibrates (e.g., gemfibrozil), nefazodone, digoxin, verapamil, "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), diltiazem, rifamycins (e.g., rifampin). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.