Zocor (simvastatin) is in a controversial, yet liberally prescribed, class of drugs called statins. Zocor is a cholesterol-lowering drug which is meant to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, but can also have serious side effects and may cause permanent injury or death.

Zocor Uses

Zocor is in a class of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, better known as statins. Statins reduce the production of cholesterol in the liver. Zocor is meant to be used in combination with diet, weight-loss, and exercise to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Reducing the production of cholesterol may reduce cholesterol buildup on the walls of the arteries.

In people with existing medical conditions that can increase the risk of developing heart and blood vessel problems, Zocor is prescribed to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke and to decrease the need for surgery to improve blood flow.

Zocor may be prescribed to children as young as 10 years old who have an inherited condition in which cholesterol is not removed from the body normally.

You should not drink grapefruit juice while taking Zocor because it can increase the risk of side effects.

Muscle Injury

Zocor can cause myopathy. Myopathy is muscle injury which can cause mild to severe pain, stiffness, muscle weakness, and cramping.

A severe form of myopathy is rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening condition which can cause kidney failure and death. In rhabdomyolysis the skeletal muscles break down, and as they break down they release proteins in to the bloodstream that are toxic to the kidneys.

New Dosing Rule

High doses of Zocor carry a significantly increased risk of myopathy, muscle injury, and rhabdomyolysis. In June, 2011, dosing recommendations were changed to restrict Zocor dosing to a maximum of 40mg except in patients who has already been taking 80mg for at least 12 months with no sign of muscle problems.

Otherwise patients in whom 40mg is not a sufficient dose to lower cholesterol should be switched to a different medication.

Other Side Effects

Zocor can have other side effects including:

  • Liver damage
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Zocor injury victims and their loved ones may be entitled to compensation. Please, talk to a Zoloft injury attorney in your area right away to learn more and find out if you have a case.