Zocor is the brand name of Merck Frosst Canada & Co. for the substance simvastatin, available only on prescription from your physician. Simvastatin is one of a class of medicines known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. They inhibit, in other words block, an enzyme that is necessary for the body to make cholesterol. In this way, less cholesterol is produced in the liver.
When it is necessary to lower cholesterol, physicians usually try to control the condition, known as hypercholesterolemia, with a carefully supervised diet. Also your physician may recommend other measures such as exercise and weight control. Medicines like this one are prescribed along with, and not as a substitute for, a special diet and other measures. Simvastatin is used to lower the levels of cholesterol (particularly Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) and fatty substances called triglycerides in your blood.
Your physician has prescribed Zocor to reduce the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Elevated cholesterol can cause coronary heart disease (CHD) by clogging the blood vessels which carry oxygen and nutrients to the heart. If you have coronary heart disease (CHD) and elevated cholesterol levels, your physician has prescribed Zocor to help reduce the risk of dying from coronary heart disease, to lessen the risk of a heart attack or stroke, and to decrease the risk of needing a surgical procedure to increase the blood flow to your heart.
Remember: This medicine is prescribed for the particular condition that you have. Do not give this medicine to other people, nor use it for any other condition.
Do not use outdated medicine.
Store your tablets in a tightly closed container away from heat and direct light. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
Read the following information carefully. If you need any explanations, or further information, ask your physician or pharmacist.
Before Taking This Medicine
This medicine may not be suitable for certain people. So, tell your physician if you think any of the following applies to you:
- You have previously taken simvastatin or any other medication in the same class--example, atorvastatin (Lipitor), cerivastatin (Baycol), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor) or pravastatin (Pravachol)--and were allergic, or reacted badly to it.
- You have liver disease.
- You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. This medicine should not be used during pregnancy.
- You are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed.
Your physician also needs to know if you are taking any other medication, whether on prescription or otherwise. It is particularly important to inform your physician if you are taking:
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
- fibric acid derivatives (bezafibrate, fenofibrate, and gemfibrozil)
- lipid-lowering doses of niacin (nicotinic acid)
- antifungal agents (itraconazole or ketoconazole)
- nefazodone (Serzone)
The safety of this medicine has not been established in adolescents and children.
Proper Use Of This Medicine:
- Take this medicine exactly as your physician ordered. It is usually recommended as a single dose with the evening meal.
- If you miss taking a tablet at its usual time, take it as soon as possible. But, if it is too close to the time of your next dose: take only the prescribed dose at the appointed time. Do not take a double dose.
- Carefully follow any measures that your physician has recommended for diet, exercise or weight control.
- It is important to continue taking the tablets as instructed. Do not alter the dosage or stop taking the medicine without consulting your physician.
- Keep your appointments regularly with your physician so that your blood can be tested and your progress checked at proper intervals.
- Avoid drinking large quantities of alcohol.
- Do not start taking any other medicines unless you have discussed the matter with your physician or pharmacist.
- Let your physician know if you suffer a severe injury, or severe infection.
- If you have to undergo any kind of surgery, tell your physician about the planned surgery; and also inform the physician in charge that you are taking this medicine.
- Store your tablets at room temperature (15 to 30°C), in a tightly closed container, away from heat and direct light, and out of damp places, such as the bathroom or kitchen.
Along with its intended action, any medication may cause unwanted effects. Most people do not have any problem when taking this medicine; but if you notice any of the following reactions, check with your physician as soon as possible:
- aching muscles
- muscle cramps
- blurred vision
Some other side effects that may occur, generally do not require medical attention, and may come and go during treatment. But if any of the following persist or become troublesome, do check with your physician or pharmacist:
- stomach upset
- pain in the abdomen
- skin rash
Some people may have other reactions. If you notice any unusual effect check with your physician or pharmacist.
Active ingredients: Each tablet of Zocor contains simvastatin. It comes in 5 strengths: 5 mg (buff), 10 mg (peach), 20 mg (tan), 40 mg (brick red) and 80 mg (brick red).
- ascorbic acid
- butylated hydroxyanisole
- citric acid
- hydroxypropyl cellulose
- magnesium stearate
- microcrystalline cellulose
- pregelatinized starch
- red ferric oxide (10, 20, 40 and 80 mg only)
- titanium dioxide
- yellow ferric oxide (5, 10 and 20 mg only)