Being prescribed to take a daily dose of Simvastatin 40 mg is fairly common for those who need to lower bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) and triglycerides levels. Consequently, the drug also increases the levels of good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Simvastatin is given to individuals who are suffering from heart conditions to lower the chances of having a stroke or a heart attack, except for those who are under 10 years of age. This prescription drug also comes in lower and higher dosages, from 5 mg to 80 mg, and comes either in tablets or in oral disintegrating tablets. Simvastatin 40 mg is the highest dosage given to first time takers. The drug is sold under the brand name Zocor from the pharmaceutical company Merck but is also available as a generics drug.
Precautions Prior to Taking Simvastatin
When you are prescribed to take a daily dose of Simvastatin 40 mg or other dosages, make sure that you inform your doctor of several conditions. A prescribing doctor should be aware of history of having kidney, liver or thyroid disease, diabetes and habitual drinking or alcoholic beverages. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take any dose of this Simvastatin. Having a diet that involves the intake of grapefruit or its by-products also has adverse effects when taking in Simvastatin. A certain compound in grapefruit decreases the rate that Simvastatin is used by body, this leaves higher levels of the drug suspended inside the body that a single dose of Simvastatin 40 mg will simulate the effects of taking twice or even more than that amount.
Several drugs react with Simvastatin 40 mg and other dosages. These interacting drugs include amiodarone, amlodipine, diltiazem, ranolazine and verapimil. Other drugs increase the risk of experiencing side effects like cyclosporine, danazol, gemfibrozil and nefazodone. Some antibiotics should also be avoided when taking in Simvastatin, like clarithromycin, erythromycin and telithromycin. Common antifungal medications should likewise be avoided such as itraconazole, ketoconazole and posaconazole. For those who are under medications for HIV or AIDS should not take Simvastatin with atazanavir, nelfinavir, fosamprenavir, ritonavir, darunavir and tipranavir.
Simvastatin 40 mg Side Effects
Simvastatin has side effects that depend on the amount of dosage. Extremely high amounts, such as the 80 mg dose, may result to muscle damage and ultimately to muscle injury or myopathy. This is also one of the apparent Simvastatin 40 mg side effects, but at a much lower rate or occurring in only 8 out of every 10,000 individuals compared to 61 occurrences for those taking the higher 80mg dose. This is the main reason why the higher dose is only given to those taking Simvastatin for a period longer than 12 months.
Other simvastatin side effects include headaches, nausea, constipation and stomach pains. A patient experiencing tenderness and pain in the muscles, overall weakness or lack of energy, tiredness, and having urine that is dark red in tint should immediately stop taking the drug, in whatever amount of dosage. Prescribing physician should be immediately informed, without stopping medications, if any of the following are experienced: blisters, chills, difficulty in breathing or swallowing, fever, flushing, hives or rashes, itching, pain in joints, sensitivity to light, or swelling of face, mouth or extremities.