Simvastatin, also known as Zocor, belongs to a group of cholesterol-lowering medications called statins. This drug is typically prescribed to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, especially in people who are at risk for developing heart disease. Although effective, there are side effects associated with this drug. Some are common, while others are more serious, affecting specific areas of your body and its functioning systems. Before beginning any medication, it's important to know what possible side effects you may experience.
Common Side Effects
According to the experts at eMedTV, some of the most common side effects of simvastatin include but are not limited to asthenia (general feeling of weakness), nausea, diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, constipation, dyspepsia (indigestion), flatulence, myalgia (muscle pain) and upper respiratory infections.
Rare Side Effects
Although occurring in less than 1 percent of people taking simvastatin, according to eMetTV, rare but severe side effects can accompany this medication. These include but are not limited to insomnia, depression, loss of memory, hepatitis, gynecomastia (development of breasts in males), anxiety, allergic reaction, sexual dysfunction (impotence) and an unexplained rash.
Liver Side Effects
According to Drugs.com, side effects of the liver are rare, affecting only 1.5 percent of those taking simvastatin. If you suffer from liver disease, this drug is typically not prescribed to you; because of its ability to cause liver damage, your liver function is closely monitored. Possible side effects concerning only your liver include liver failure, cirrhosis of the liver, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) and fulminant hepatic necrosis, a severe liver disease affecting those with no pre-existing liver damage that progresses quickly and leads to hepatic (liver) failure.
Muscular Side Effects
While muscle and joint pain are both common side effects of simvastatin, this medication can also cause more severe, and sometimes deadly, muscular side effects. According to Drugs.com, patients are encouraged to immediately report any signs of muscle pain or weakness to a doctor. In some cases, rhabdomyolysis develops; this is a rapid breakdown of the the skeletal tissue due to the breakdown of muscle tissue.