What is Zocor?
Zocor is a tablet manufactured by Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), indicated for use in high cholesterol. The medication is supplied in a range of doses. The one you are issued will depend on which stage of treatment you are currently in, and if you are susceptible to potential side effects. Each tablet is taken once a day, and they work by inhibiting the function of an enzyme in the liver, to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
- Range of doses available
- Made by Merck Sharp & Dohme
- Easy to take daily pill
High cholesterol does not cause immediate outwardly symptoms, but it can be a pathway to more serious illness. Those who have raised amounts of these fats present in their blood are more likely to experience heart disease, stroke, and angina. Some people may be genetically predisposed to the condition, due to their family history, or the presence of an illness such as diabetes.
However, dietary habits can also play a contributory role. Those who have a high saturated fat content in their diet will be more likely to develop high cholesterol, as will those who drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, or smoke. Additionally, a lack of exercise can also lead to raised levels.
The condition is characterised by a heightened presence of fats in the bloodstream. In the body, cholesterol actually has an important job to do in helping to build and maintain healthy cell tissue. It is produced largely by the liver, and converted through fusion with proteins into low-density lipoproteins (or LDLs). These are transported around the body, through the arteries.
Although cholesterol is important for the body’s normal functions, a high level of LDLs can cause the arteries to harden. This is called atherosclerosis, and can restrict the flow of blood in the body, and increase the likelihood of a blood clot. More serious consequences of this may be a stroke, or a heart attack.
One of the first actions a doctor will take in addressing high cholesterol will be to analyse a person’s lifestyle tendencies. The introduction of a healthier eating regimen, stopping smoking, cutting down alcohol intake, and initiating a programme of light exercise, are all possible routes a doctor may suggest. However, in those instances where these measures have not succeeded in reducing cholesterol levels, a medicinal solution may be prescribed.
Zocor, which is a statin, works by decreasing the amount of these fats exported by the liver, thus lowering their presence in the body. The active ingredient in this product, a substance called simvastatin, does this by blocking the action of an enzyme. HMG-CoA reductase is a catalysing agent in the process of cholesterol production. By reducing the activity of this enzyme, Zocor decreases cholesterol levels in the body.
Zocor 10mg tablets
This is the lowest dose of Zocor available. It may be given as a starting dose, or to patients who are taking certain other medications, or to those who have kidney problems.
Zocor 20mg tablets
The 20mg tablet is sometimes given as an initiation dose to patients. The dose a patient commences treatment on is typically determined by their cholesterol level and their potential risk of developing side effects.
Zocor 40mg tablets
On occasion, 40mg may be given as a starting dose to some people. It might also be prescribed in those cases where the lower doses have proved insufficient in helping to bring cholesterol levels under control. Doctors will observe a four week gap (at least) between increasing doses.
Zocor 80mg tablets
The highest dose of Zocor is 80mg, and this may only be given in those cases where lower doses have not worked to help bring high cholesterol down. It is intended for patients with very high cholesterol levels who carry a significant risk of developing heart problems.
Please note that this treatment is not available through our site. See your GP if you are seeking a prescription renewal for this medication.
Before using this product, make sure you have read and understand the instructions provided in the safety information leaflet; and that during use, you adhere to the directions issued by your doctor. This will help you to lower the risk of possible side effects and help to maximise the efficacy of the treatment.
- Take these tablets as directed by your doctor.
- In the majority of cases, the typical beginning dose will be one 10mg or 20mg pill, taken daily.
- To help you remember your tablet, aim to take it at the same time each day.
- Swallow your tablet whole, with a glass of water.
- You will need to have your cholesterol levels monitored on a regular basis while using this treatment.
- A doctor may decide to adjust your dose after a period of four weeks or more, depending on your response to the course.
- The maximum daily administration is 80mg.
- Never exceed the dose specified by your prescriber.
- In the event that you miss a dose, skip it and take your next dose at the scheduled time. Do not compensate by taking double the amount.
The above is intended as a guide only. Consult the instructions provided in the leaflet prior to use, and if you are still unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.
They may not affect everyone who uses this treatment, but it is still important to be aware of the side effects this product may cause, so that you can act appropriately in the event that they happen to you.
Seek medical attention right away if you notice any signs of the following: pain or tenderness in the muscles, or feelings of weakness, as it may be indicative of kidney failure; an allergic response, such as swelling of the face, or hives; inflammation in the joints; inflammation of blood vessels; hepatitis, such as jaundice or discoloration of urine; or pancreatitis. Refer to the accompanying leaflet to find out more about these signs.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Fall in red blood cell count, numbness in the arms and legs, headache, dizziness, indigestion, diarrhoea, hair loss, sleeping difficulty or memory loss.
Erectile problems, depression, or respiratory issues.
The above is not a comprehensive account of the potential side effects associated with this item. For more details, consult the patient information leaflet.
Taking it with other medicines
During consultation, you will be asked which other treatments you are currently using. It is vital to divulge this information, as some products may cause interactions, render Zocor less effective, or vice versa, and make it unsuitable for use.
The following may interfere with the function of this item: ciclosporin; danazol; antifungals such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole, posaconazole, or voriconazole; fibrates, for instance gemfibrozil and bezafibrate; antibiotics including erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, or fusidic acid; anticoagulants such as warfarin, phenprocoumon or acenocoumarol; fenofibrate or niacin; drugs used for HIV or hepatitis C infections, like indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, boceprevir or telaprevir; rifampicin; nefazodone; amiodarone; verapamil, diltiazem, or amlodipine; or colchicine.
Conditions to look out for
The presence of some conditions may mean that you are unable to use this treatment, or will be required to take special care when applying it. Do not take it if you have liver disease which is currently in a state of activity. Your doctor also needs to know if you drink large amounts of alcohol, are of Asian descent, have any allergies, or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Do not take Zocor and speak to your doctor for advice if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
Driving and using machinery
It is not likely to interfere with your ability to drive. However, if you become dizzy after taking Zocor, you should not drive or use machines, and tell your doctor.
Food and drink
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided by those who are taking this product, as they may interfere with how Zocor works.
This medicine contains lactose. Make your prescriber aware if you are any sugar intolerances.
Can I still drink alcohol?
It is not advisable to drink large amounts of alcohol when using statins, as this may counter the positive effects of the treatment.
The consumption of grapefruit juice should be avoided when using Zocor as it may inhibit its function.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. It is unlikely that your capacity to drive will be affected by this product. In the event that you experience any side effects which may it unsafe for you to drive however, you should refrain from doing so and let your doctor know immediately.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Zocor, and speak to their doctor about alternative methods of treatment if they are concerned.
How should I store it?
Always keep it stored in a safe place below 25°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
This item contains: simvastatin, butylated hydroxyanisole (E320), ascorbic acid (E300), citric acid monohydrate (E330), microcrystalline cellulose (E460), pregelatinized starch, magnesium stearate (E572), lactose monohydrate, hypromellose (E464), hydroxypropylcellulose (E463), titanium dioxide (E171), talc (E553b), yellow ferric oxide (E172), and red ferric oxide (E172).
If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, do not take it.
Is it available over-the-counter?
No. To buy Zocor from any UK pharmacy, you will need a prescription.
Is it right for me?
The medication you take for high cholesterol will be determined by your GP, during your regular cholesterol review. They will issue a prescription for the most suitable treatment after discussing options with you.
We do not provide this medication through our site. To renew your prescription for this treatment, we recommend you contact your doctor.
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