Simvastatin tablets are a member of the class of medicines called statins. Used to lower levels of total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and fatty substances called triglycerides in the blood. In addition, Simvastatin Tablets raises levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).

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What is Simvastatin?

Simvastatin belongs to a group of medicines called statins. Statins help lower cholesterol levels in patients with high blood cholesterol. They also help reduce the risks of heart disease, including strokes and heart attacks.

You might also require statins if you have a family history of heart disease (coronary head disease, cardiovascular heart disease), high blood pressure or other long-term health conditions such at diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. High blood cholesterol contributes to furring up your blood vessels. The narrowing reduces the blood flow through the artery and increases the risk of a number of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.

How does it work?

Simvastatin tablets prevent the production of cholesterol by the liver and also reduces the levels of cholesterol and other fats in your body. Simvastatin does this by blocking the action of a certain enzyme that is needed to make cholesterol. This is important because when there is excessive cholesterol, you can accumulate small fatty patches on the wall of blood vessels and block them. This increases the number of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.

How to use Simvastatin

Always take your tablets exactly as your doctor has instructed you.

It can be taken with or without food, Swallow the correct number of tablets with a glass of water. Ask a doctor for advice if you are unsure of the dose to take.

Take simvastatin tablets once a day (daily dose) in the evening. This is because your body makes most cholesterol at night. The usual dose is 10mg to 80mg, your dose depends on your cholesterol levels and what’s other medicines you are taking.

Simvastatin doesn’t upset the stomach, so you can take it with or without food. Swallow simvastatin tablets whole with a glass of water.

Simvastatin tablets come in 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80mg dosages.

What if I forget to take it?

If you occasionally forget to take a dose, take your next dose the next day at the usual time, never take 2 doses at the same time and never take extra doses.

If you often forget doses, may be useful to set an alarm as a reminder.

What to do if you take too much?

Taking an extra dose of simvastatin by accident is unlikely to cause harm but if it happens speak to your doctor for further advice.

How long will I take simvastatin for?

Treatment is usually for life. The benefits will continue as long as you take it. If stopped, cholesterol levels might rise again.

Are statins safe?

Statins are thought to be very safe and effective medicines.

Do not take simvastatin in the following conditions:

  • If you have a liver disease
  • If you are allergic to simvastatin or any other ingredients of this medicine.
  • If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.
  • If several blood tests have shown abnormal functioning of your liver.
  • Do not drink grapefruit juice whilst taking simvastatin.

Side effects & precautions

Simvastatin should only be used after a consultation with a doctor as it can cause serious side effects especially for people in the following conditions.

  • If you have kidney disease.
  • If you have an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism);
  • If you have past history of liver disease.
  • If you have alcohol problems (If you regularly drink large amounts of alcohol).
  • If you have a muscle disorder in yourself or a blood relative.
  • If you have side effects affecting your muscles when taking another cholesterol-lowering medicine such as statin or fibrate.
  • If you have recently been prescribed a new medication.

Simvastatin is generally a very safe medicine but like all, simvastatin Tablets can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Stop taking the tablets and seek immediate medical attention should you experience any of these effects:

Serious allergic reactions, such as shortness of breath, tongue and throat swelling.

Problem with touch (numbness, tingling pins and needles).

Yellowish discolouration of the skin, pale stool.

Severe stomach pains.

Severe muscle pain or joint pains (muscle damage)

Common Side effects

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea/Vomiting/Constipation
  • Diarrhoea/Flatulence
  • Muscle cramps

Uncommon Side effects

  • Scalp and hair problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Abnormal urination
  • Vision problems
  • Sleep disturbances

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects.

Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly (see details below). By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

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