Reduce Your Risk For Simvastatin (Zocor®) Drug Side Effects

simvastatin-reduceIn some cases the expected response to simvastatin (Zocor®) is clear. For example, in individuals with reduced or intermediate liver uptake activity, the daily dose of simvastatin (Zocor®) should be reduced or simvastatin (Zocor®) should avoided altogether because of the risk of developing myopathy (muscle weakness). For these individuals, either a reduced dosage of less than 40mg/day or an alternate statin drug should be considered. In these cases, it is clear how genetic information can be used to reduce your risk of serious side effects. In other cases, technical limitations encountered during genetic testing may prevent prediction of how you may respond to simvastatin (Zocor®).

Simvastatin (Zocor®) Drug-Drug Interactions

Some drugs, when taken with simvastatin (Zocor®), can increase blood levels of simvastatin, which increases the risk of liver damage and breakdown of skeletal muscle. Talk to your health care provider if you are taking simvastatin (Zocor®) in addition to any of the following drugs:

  • Antifungal medications – (Itraconazole/Sporanox®, ketoconazole/Nizoral® , posaconazole/Noxafil®, voriconazole/VFEND®)
  • Macrolide antibiotics – (erythromycin/E-mycin®, clarithromycin/Biaxin®, telithromycin/Ketek®)
  • HIV protease inhibitors – (Atazanavir/Reyataz®, darunavir/Prezista®, fosamprenavir/Lexiva®, indinavir/Crixivan®, nelfinavir/Viracept®, ritonavir/Norvir®, saquinavir/Invirase®, tipranavir/Aptivus®)
  • Hepatitis C medications – (boceprevir/Victrelis®, telaprevir/Incivek®)
  • Blood pressure medications – (verapamil/Calan®, diltiazem/Cardizem®, amlodipine/Norvasc®)
  • Anti-arrhythmia medications – (dronedarone/Multaq®, amiodarone/Cordarone®)
  • Gemfibrozil – (Lopid®)
  • Cyclosporine – (Neoral®, Sandimmune®, Gengraf®)
  • Danazol – (Danocrine®)
  • Ranolazine – (Ranexa®)

Taking simvastatin (Zocor®) with a blood thinning drug (warfarin/Coumadin®, Athrombin®) may increase how well the blood thinning drug works and may increase the risk of bleeding.

For a list of medications that interact with simvastatin (Zocor®), click here.

It is important that you talk to your healthcare providers about all of the medications (both over-the-counter and prescription) as well as supplements that you are taking, as they may interact with simvastatin (Zocor®). Do not make changes to ANY medications without talking to your healthcare providers.

simvastatin-reduce-fruitSimvastatin (Zocor®) and Food Interactions

  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice
For a list of foods, vitamins, and supplements that may interact with simvastatin (Zocor®), click here.

Can SLCO1B1 Affect My Response to Any Other Drugs?

Variants in the SLCO1B1 gene may affect response to other statin drugs (such as Atorvastatin (Lipitor®), Pravastatin (Pravachol®) and Rosuvastatin (Crestor®)) to a lesser extent. No significant side effects for these other statin drugs have been associated with variants in the SLCO1B1 gene. Talk to your healthcare providers about all of the medications (both over the counter and prescription) as well as any supplements that you are taking.