Simvastatin is a cholesterol lowering medication that is in the class of statin drugs that work by inhibiting a rate limiting step in the cholesterol synthesis in the liver called HMG co A reductase. The drug is popularly marketed as the brand name Zocor and helps in lowering the cholesterol and triglycerides.
Information about Simvastatin
Simvastatin is a commonly used cholesterol lowering agent (statin) that is associated with mild, asymptomatic and self-limited serum aminotransferase elevations during therapy, and rarely with clinically apparent acute liver injury.
Mechanism of action of Simvastatin
Simvastatin (sim" va stat' in) is an orally available inhibitor of hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, the major rate-limiting enzyme in cholesterol synthesis. Like other members of its class (the “statins”), simvastatin lowers total serum cholesterol and particularly low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and its complications – myocardial infarction and stroke.
FDA approval information for Simvastatin
Simvastatin was approved for use in the United States in 1991 and is still widely used with more than 40 million prescriptions being filled yearly.
Clinical use of Simvastatin
Current indications for simvastatin are hypercholesterolemia and reduction in risk for death from coronary, cerebrovascular and peripheral artery disease in patients with these diseases. Simvastatin is available generic forms and under the commercial name of Zocor in tablets of 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 mg.
Dosage and administration for Simvastatin
The recommended dose is 5 to 80 mg daily based upon tolerability and lipid levels. Simvastatin is also available as a fixed combination with ezetimibe under the brand name Vytorin.
Side effects of Simvastatin
Common side effects include muscle cramps, joint aches, headache and weakness.
Lipid lowering medications
- Niacin (Nicotinic Acid)