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Simvastatin is a prescription medication that is used to lower cholesterol. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as statins. Simvastatin works by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver that is responsible for producing cholesterol. By reducing the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver, simvastatin lowers overall cholesterol levels in the blood. This can help to prevent heart disease and strokes. Simvastatin is usually taken once daily, in the evening. It is important to take this medication at the same time each day to maintain consistent levels of medication in the blood. Simvastatin can be taken with or without food.
The most common side effects of simvastatin are headache, muscle pain, nausea, and diarrhea. More serious side effects include liver damage, and rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue). Simvastatin should be used with caution in people with liver disease or a history of muscle pain or weakness. Contact your doctor immediately if you are taking simvastatin and are experiencing muscle pain, cramps, soreness, dark urine, and severe stomach pain.
Simvastatin works to reduce the activity of the enzyme responsible for producing cholesterol in the liver.
Antifungal medications such as ketoconazole and itraconazole, as well as antibiotics such as erythromycin and clarithromycin, can increase levels of simvastatin leading to increased side effects. If you are taking any other medications, talk to your doctor before starting simvastatin to make sure it is safe for you to do so.
Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Grapefruit contains a compound that inhibits an enzyme in the liver that is responsible for breaking down simvastatin. As a result, simvastatin levels can build up in the blood, increasing the risk of muscle damage and other side effects.