Simvastatin is classified among the statin group of drugs. Its primary effect is to lower the elevated cholesterol level, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein which is otherwise called LDL or the bad lipoproteins. Such effects will be helpful in preventing or even reversing the coronary artery disease. Simvastatin is prescribed to people suffering from peripheral vessel disease, coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus. This is also given to patients who have a history of cerebrovascular disease or stroke with high levels of fat in the blood. Simvastatin can reduce the risk of death as a result of decreasing mortality from coronary artery disease and reduce the incidence of stroke and nonfatal myocardial infarction or heart attack. Furthermore, it will also reduce the necessity of noncoronary and coronary revascularization procedures. Simvastatin can also be used by young individuals who are suffering from familial or heritable hypercholesterolemia.
During several clinical studies, it was discovered that only approximately 1.4% of people who use Simvastatin will experience side effects.
The most prevalent side effects of Simvastatin include:
- Asthenia or weakness
- Deficient in energy
- Slight pain in the head
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Infections of the upper respiratory tract
- Pain in the abdomen
- Indigestion or dyspepsia
- A person can have diarrhea or loose bowel movement or may experience difficulty in defecating or constipation
- Passing out of gas through the rectum or belching
Rhabdomyolysis or breakdown of the muscles is the most severe and harmful side effect of Simvastatin. Such adverse effect will usually take place when Simvastatin is combined with other different drugs. When this happens, the proteins of the muscles will run into the bloodstream. This can lead to kidney failure which is sometimes fatal if there is no immediate medical help. The breakdown of muscles can have symptoms like dark-colored urine, myoglobinuria, muscle pain, stiffness and weakness.
In addition, patients who are using Simvastatin will develop damage of the muscle or myopathy. Usually, this happens when there is overdosing. The symptoms of this condition include general weakness, spasms, muscle cramps, stiffness and tenderness. Moreover, liver cirrhosis can also occur. This can cause severe damage of the liver and may be deadly. Clinical presentations are skin itchiness, tendency to bruise easily, jaundice, fatigue and loss of appetite.
Other side effects of Simvastatin which are uncommon yet can still occur include: rheumatoid manifestations such as vasculitis opthalmoplegia depression, polymyalgia rheumatica and lupus-like syndrome, neurological problems including peripheral nerve palsy, paresthesias and peripheral neuropathy, psychiatric changes like agitation, delusions, suicidal thought and paranoia and also functional abnormalities of the thyroid. Other rare side effects are bilateral leg compartment syndrome, testicular pain as well as myonecrosis eczematous. Skin changes will also occur and these can manifest as changes in the hair and nails, alopecia, toxic epidermal necrolysis, dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, pruritic rash, eczematous, nodules, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and erythema multiforme. It was also revealed that every so often Simvastatin can stimulate the growth of tumor particularly lung, liver and thyroid carcinomas and adenomas.
Side Effects which can occur Among Pregnant Women
Simvastatin is not advisable for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers as it affects their health condition.
Side Effects that occur in Children
Among children and adolescents age ten to seventeen years old, the most prevalent side effects of Simvastatin include nausea, pain in the abdomen and headache. The adverse effects of taking Simvastatin has similar incidence to the grown up population. Simvastatin should not be used in children who are below ten years old.