What is Simvastatin and What Side Effects to Expect While Taking it?
Simvastatin is a drug that is used to lower bad cholesterol in the body. Simvastatin works by reducing the production of the enzyme HMG-CoA in the liver. This enzyme is known to be important in the making of bad cholesterol. Simvastatin belongs to a group of drugs known as ‘Statins’, drugs that belong to this group are known to reduce cholesterol. Aside from reducing bad cholesterol statins are also known to reduce triglycerides. Bad cholesterol which is reduced by Simvastatin is also known as LDL or low density lipoprotein. Studies have shown that LDL is the cause of coronary artery disease. By taking Simvastatin this decreases the amount of LDL and this helps in curing coronary artery disease. Aside from lowering LDL levels, Simvastatin has also been known to increase HDL or high density lipoprotein which is also known as ‘good cholesterol’.
Simvastatin is prescribed for
Simvastatin being a statins is prescribed to treat patients that need to have their cholesterol lowered. Simvastatin would most likely be prescribed to patients with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or coronary heart disease. Simvastatin may also be prescribed to patients who have had a history of stroke this is because by taking Simbastatin there is a lower chance that patients would need to undergo procedures such as coronary and noncoronary revascularization.
It is able to do this by blocking out a certain enzyme needed to create cholesterol, which increases the risk for cardiovascular problems. By using Simvastatin, it reduces the risks of heart and blood vessel disease, especially if the patient is at an increased risk for these diseases.
Simvastatin is also used for other medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, peripheral vessel disease, stroke or a history of the disease, reducing the risks of heart attacks or myocardial infarction, stroke incidences and coronary and noncoronary revascularization procedures. It can also be used to treat young people who are suffering from hereditary diseases such as hypercholesterolemia.
Side effects of Simvastatin
With all the amazing positive things that can be brought about by Simvastatin it is amazing to note that there are still some side effects when taking this drug.
Like any other drug that we take whether it is something that we have purchased over the counter or it is something that the doctor has prescribed for you to take it is still important to note and to remember that drugs always have side effects and it is important to be aware of these side effects so that you can fully prepare and protect yourself and your loved ones.
Fortunately, most of these side effects are treatable and manageable, but some can become serious. It is always important to have regular check-ups with your doctor to see if these side effects are normal, or if they can already lead to other serious medical concerns. Always be aware of these concerns so that you cannot be caught off-guard with the side effects of Simvastatin.
Simvastatin is the kind of drug that has gone through rigorous trials and clinical studies to make sure that its effects are manageable and treatable. Based on the clinical reports, only 1.4% of patients using the drug may experience side effects.
Simvastatin has been known to cause muscle problems. These muscle problems may cause rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a very rare side effect of Simvastatin although it is a serious muscle condition which should not be ignored. Rhabdomyolysis is the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle and with the destruction of the skeletal muscle the muscle protein myoglobin leaks to the urine. This is a very serious condition that is why it is important to inform your doctor if you develop muscle pain and especially if this is accompanied by a fever. Change in the amount of urine can also be a symptom of Rhabdomyolysis.
Other side effects
Other side effects of Simvastatin include damage to the liver although this is very rare but it can also be very serious that is why it is important to inform the doctor if you see any of the following symptoms that may indicate damage to the liver:
Make sure to inform your doctor if you notice Jaundice or a yellowish color in the patients’ eyes and/or skin. Also take note of any change in the characteristics of your urine whether this is with the color of your urine or any change in amount or pain when urinating. You should also make it a point to take note of symptoms of pain in the stomach and abdominal area. Other symptoms which could be from a side effect of Simvastatin are nausea and vomiting.
Aside from being vigilant regarding the side effects of Simvastatin you should also watch out for an allergic reaction to the drug, although severe allergic reactions to Simvastatin are very rare. But it would be in your best interest to take note of the allergic reactions to this drug that would also be the case if you are taking care of someone who has been prescribed to take Simvastatin. So here are the allergic reactions to Simvastatin:
A patient developing a rash can be an indication of an allergic reaction to Simvastatin. Aside from a rash, hives and itching can also manifest in a patient. The patient may also experience itching. You should also take note of any swelling in the face area, also the tongue and the throat. Remember that a swelling of the tongue and throat can be very dangerous since it can lead to the patient not being able to breathe since the swollen tongue and throat can block the passage of air and can cause difficulty in breathing. Tightness in the chest has also been known to be a side effect of Simvastatin and this can make breathing even more difficult. Some patients have also manifested unusual hoarseness. Aside from the mouth and the throat swelling, even a person’s face and lips can become swollen.
Simvastatin has also been known to cause severe dizziness although this is very rare.
You might even be surprised to know that Simvastasin can still cause side effects even if you take them in low frequencies.
Simvastasin taken in low frequencies has been known to cause the following side effects such as pain in the joints. It can also cause muscle cramps and aches. Simvastasin taken in low doses can also cause gastrisis and Cholestatic Hepatitis. This kind of hepatitis usually manifests with itching skin, jaundice- yellowish eyes and skin and pale stools. You should make sure to consult when any of these symptoms manifests. Simvastasin can also damage your pancreas and cause them to be infected, thus pancreatitis is also a possible side effect of Simvastasin.
You should also take note that Simvastasin even if taken in low levels can cause depression, memory loss, insomnia and anxiety. That is why you should help prepare the patient to deal with these side effects and an effective care plan for patients who are taking Simvastasin is to include their families, friends and loved ones in the care plan. It is important to have the support of your family during the medication period in order to help the patient. Having a strong support group will definitely help the patient go through the medication stage and help them deal with all the possible side effects.
There are also some side effects from Simvastasin that are important to take note since they affect the sexual functions of the patients taking the drugs. Simvastasin has been known to cause impotence and breast development in boys.
Side effects of Simvastatin in children
Children under 10 years of age should not take Simvastatin because of its possible adverse effects to them. Children to adolescents, aged 10 to 17 may experience side effects such as headache, nausea and abdominal pain. They can also have other more serious side effects, but its occurrences are the same as with adults. That is why it is important to seek professional advice before allowing children to take Simvastatin.
Side effects of Simvastatin in pregnant women
Simvastatin should not be taken as medication by pregnant women. The drug may be contraindicative to them meaning pregnant women should not take the drug. Simvastatin can even harm their unborn child. Simvastatin can affect the developing baby and taking this drug while pregnant may cause congenital defects to the baby.
Breastfeeding mothers are also not advised to take the drug because of its possible adverse effects to the mother and the baby. For those women who can get pregnant, meaning they have a high probability of getting pregnant it is highly recommended that they do not take Simvastatin, unless they have an effective contraceptive method. If you have been prescribed by your doctor to take Simvastatin make sure that you will not get pregnant and make sure that you practice this. Make sure that you also consult with your Obstetrician regarding taking this drug. Don’t worry if you already have plans on having a baby then you can also discuss this with your doctors. It is always advisable to consult with a physician first if any of these concerns may affect the patient.