Simvastatin - What It Serves, Dosage, Mechanism of Action and Side Effects

Simvastatin is a prescribed medication that can be used in conjunction with a healthy eating plan, weight and practice of physical exercise to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like cholesterol, heart attack and stroke cerebral.

We will discuss in detail the purpose of simvastatin, its dosage, mechanism of action and possible side effects involved with the use of the drug.

Simvastatin - What It Is

Simvastatin is a medicinal product of the class of HMG-CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A) inhibitors, which are substances known as statins mainly used to control cholesterol levels and triglycerides. This is the class of medications most indicated by health professionals to lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.

What is it for

The indication for simvastatin is generally for people who have health problems or are in a risk group of develop diseases such as high cholesterol and cardiovascular complications in at-risk groups such as people with diabetes or disease coronary artery disease.

Usually, simvastatin is used to treat problems such as:

  • High triglycerides and cholesterol;
  • Stiffening of arteries due to the accumulation of fatty plaques;
  • High cholesterol due to hereditary problems;
  • Excessive fat in the blood;
  • Prevention of transient ischemic attack;
  • Heart attack prevention;
  • Delayed progression of coronary artery disease;
  • Prevention of stroke.


Simvastatin is available in the form of oral tablets. The use of the medication is daily and should never be taken less or more often than indicated in the package insert or by the doctor of your confidence. Never stop using the medication without medical advice.

The recommended starting dose usually ranges from 5 to 40 milligrams daily, depending on your condition being evaluated by your doctor. The maximum daily dose should never exceed 80 milligrams per day.

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How to take

Generally, the medicine is taken once a day always in a single dose during the evening with a little water. It is important that the use is done every day at approximately the same time.

If you use the liquid form of simvastatin, it is indicated that the medicine is taken on an empty stomach and the bottle is well shaken before use.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you only remember many hours later, the morning or afternoon of the next day, for example, it is best to wait to take only the usual time at night and skip the missed dose. Never take a double dose in case of forgetfulness as this can cause unwanted complications and side effects.

An improvement in the medical picture is usually observed after 4 weeks of treatment.

Mechanism of action

In the treatment of cholesterol, simvastatin is used to decrease the amount of fat, mainly LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol and the triglycerides present in the blood. In addition, the drug is able to increase the amount of HDL (high density lipoprotein) type cholesterol, which is known as the good cholesterol for the body. In this way, simvastatin helps control total cholesterol levels.

The mechanism of action in the case of cholesterol control is the reduction of the production of cholesterol by the organism, reducing the amount of fat that can build up in the walls of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart, brain and other organs of the body.

The accumulation of cholesterol and other types of fat in the walls of the arteries (known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and impairs the transport of oxygen to vital organs. Thus, lowering blood cholesterol level caused by simvastatin ends up preventing heart disease.

But how is the mechanism of action of simvastatin in metabolism?

All statins, including simvastatin, act by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, which is an enzyme involved in the metabolism of cholesterol production. Studies indicate that statins are the most effective drugs in controlling cholesterol levels, although they are not as effective at lowering triglycerides. Therefore, a low-fat diet is indicated for effective treatment.

As for reducing LDL, simvastatin is able to reduce blood fat by up to 50%. This results in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease triggered by increased cholesterol.

Side effects

Simvastatin may cause some common side effects, which include:

  • Constipation;
  • Stomach ache;
  • Nausea;
  • Headache;
  • Loss of memory or episodes of forgetfulness;
  • Mental confusion;
  • Joint pain;
  • Mild muscle pain;
  • Insomnia;
  • Symptoms of cold.

Among the most serious adverse effects, the following can be observed:

  • Sensitivity, weakness and / or muscle pain;
  • Urine red or darker than normal;
  • Decreased urination;
  • Lack of energy;
  • Tiredness and weakness;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Pain in the upper right of the stomach;
  • Skin and / or yellow eyes;
  • Fever or chills;
  • Blisters on the skin;
  • Skin rashes;
  • Urticaria;
  • Itching;
  • Swelling in the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, and lower limbs such as feet, ankles, and legs;
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing;
  • Hoarseness;
  • Joint pain;
  • Sensitivity to light.

When you experience any of these more serious effects, it is imperative to seek medical help. because they are serious reactions to the drug that must be treated by a professional.

Does simvastatin hurt?

As with any type of medicine, the use of simvastatin may be accompanied by some side effects. This is not to say that the medicine is bad, but that it also has its risks.

In very rare cases, the use of simvastatin may result in a collapse of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to renal failure. However, there are few reports on this adverse effect in the literature and it is only observed in cases of people who already suffer from kidney disease, who have untreated hypothyroidism or in cases of very old people with other health problems. That is why it is so important that your doctor knows all your possible health problems before prescribing any kind of medicine.

In this way, the benefits and risks of adverse effects should be weighed to decide whether drug use is really necessary. It may be that in some less severe cases of high cholesterol only a change in diet and inclusion of appropriate physical exercise routinely is able to control cholesterol levels in the blood.

However, other cases do need the drug to normalize the situation. Decisions about the most appropriate treatment should only be made by a doctor.


It is important to inform the doctor before starting the medication of any type of allergy that you introduce and inform other remedies, supplements and vitamins you are taking to avoid interactions medicines. Simvastatin may interact, for example, with anticoagulant drugs, some antifungal and antibiotics.

If you have liver disease, it is also important that your doctor knows that simvastatin does not overload the function of your liver.

Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use simvastatin because the substance may cause birth defects in the fetus or harm the baby.

Never combine the use of any medication with the ingestion of alcohol. Also avoid the consumption of grape juice because simvastatin interacts poorly with the fruit. Avoiding smoking cigarettes also helps in treating any disease involved with the cardiovascular system.


Some dietary changes are welcome during the use of simvastatin for the effects of the drug to be more effective.

The ideal is to adopt a low-fat diet and low intake of high-cholesterol foods. In addition, the practice of physical exercise is essential for good health and to further decrease the risk of cardiac complications.

Additional references:


Have you ever been told by your doctor to take simvastatin to treat high cholesterol or triglycerides? How were the results with the medicine? Comment below.

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