• Lowers the bodies production of bad cholesterol
  • Lowers the risk of heart problems such as heart disease, heart attacks as well as strokes
  • Lipid-lowering medication that belongs to the statins class of drugs

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About Simvastatin
  1. What is Simvastatin?

    Simvastatin is a lipid-lowering medication that belongs to the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors group of medicines, also known as statins. It is a commonly prescribed medication to prevent cardiovascular disease in those with high cholesterol.

    It is taken by mouth and, when combined with exercise, weight loss, and a healthy diet, it can work to lower elevated lipid levels.

    You need a prescription to buy Simvastatin. 

    What are Simvastatin tablets used to treat?

    Simvastatin is a lipid-lowering medication that belongs to the statins class of drugs. It is a commonly prescribed medication to lower the non-HDL cholesterol levels in the body, particularly the Lower Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Like other statins, Simvastatin also helps to increase good cholesterol levels (HDL). 

    Simvastatin reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, angina, heart attacks, and strokes, which are all serious conditions associated with high cholesterol. 

    Simvastatin and other statin drugs are the first-line treatment option for those with high cholesterol. However, they should always be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes that include exercising.

    Why is Simvastatin recommended to treat high cholesterol?

    Simvastatin has been used to treat high cholesterol since 1992, it is one of the most prescribed medicines in the world and is currently featured on the World Health Organisation's list of Essential Medicines.

    Clinical studies show Simvastatin to be an effective medication for lowering cholesterol and also producing a minimal risk of side effects. 

    How does Simvastatin treat high cholesterol?

    Simvastatin works by lowering the bad cholesterol levels in our body such as Lower Density Lipoprotein (LDL) as well as other non-HDL cholesterol levels. Simvastatin also helps to increase the levels of good cholesterol, which help to prevent several LDL related diseases as well as remove LDL from the body.

    Simvastatin increases the number of LDL receptors within the body; the LDL receptors are vital to the body when it comes to managing cholesterol body. 

    The LDL receptors help to absorb the bad cholesterol within the blood, where it is transferred to the liver and removed from the body.

    Statins mainly work in the liver by slowing down the production of LDL cholesterol.

    Who can take Simvastatin?

    Simvastatin is an effective medication for lowering cholesterol levels, but it may not be suitable for everyone to use.

    You should tell your doctor before taking Simvastatin tablets if:

    • You have liver or kidney problems
    • You have had an allergic to this or any other medicine in the past
    • You have or have had a muscle disorder like fibromyalgia
    • You have severe lung disease
    • You drink large quantities of alcohol on a regular basis
    • You have an underactive thyroid

    Simvastatin tablets can also interact with other medications. If you are taking any other medicine for high cholesterol or any other illness, you should make sure your doctor is aware.

    Can you buy Simvastatin over the counter in the UK?

    Simvastatin is a prescription-only medicine and cannot be bought over the counter. You must have this medicine prescribed in order to buy it.

    Can you buy Simvastatin online in the UK?

    You can buy Simvastatin online in the UK from most online pharmacies including Medicine Direct. Before you buy Simvastatin, you will need to complete an online health questionnaire, this is to ensure that you are receiving the best possible treatment option for your condition. 

    Simvastatin alternatives

    There are 5 types of statins that are used to treat high cholesterol in the UK. 

    All statins will have a very similar mechanism of action, but indications and doses can vary depending on which statin you are prescribed.

    You should always take the statin that you have been prescribed by your doctor, do not switch between statins.

  2. Simvastatin Dosage and Directions

    The dosage of Simvastatin you are prescribed is heavily dependent on your condition, diagnosis, and the severity of your cholesterol levels.

    The available doses of Simvastatin in the UK are listed below:

    • Simvastatin 10mg

    • Simvastatin 20mg

    • Simvastatin 40mg

    • Simvastatin 80mg

    Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE prescribing guidelines when prescribing Simvastatin.

    What time should I take Simvastatin?

    Studies have shown that Simvastatin has a greater reduction in LDL cholesterol when it is taken at night. Statins with a half-life of fewer than 6 hours should be taken at night. It is recommended to takethis medicine at the same time every night.

    How to take Simvastatin

    Do not open or chew the tablets, they must be swallowed whole. They are also most effective when following other healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, managing your stress, and stopping smoking.

    Do not drink grapefruit juice while taking Simvastatin.

  3. Simvastatin Side Effects

    Statins for cholesterol are generally considered to be very safe to take. However, like all medications, Simvastatin comes with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone will suffer from them. You should speak to your doctor if these side effects bother you or do not go away.

    A rare but serious side effect of taking this medicine is unexplained muscle pain. You may be more likely to experience this reaction if you are taking a higher dose of Simvastatin, and it may appear weeks or even months into your course of treatment.

    You should report any muscle pain or aches to your doctor straight away.

    Please note that this list may not be exhaustive; for the full list of possible side effects, you should refer to the patient information leaflet.

  4. Simvastatin Warnings and Drug Interactions

    You should always make sure that your doctor is aware of any medication you are already using. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

    More information on medicines that interact with Simvastatin can be found on the NICE website.

    If you are currently using any medicines that contain St. John's Wort, or are thinking of doing so, you should make sure your doctor knows, as this can stop Simvastatin from working properly.

    Is it safe to use Simvastatin during pregnancy?

    Simvastatin is not recommended for women who are pregnant. If you are currently pregnant, are trying to get pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, you should make sure you tell your doctor. If you become pregnant while taking Simvastatin, you should stop taking the medicine and tell your doctor as soon as possible.

    Can I take it during breastfeeding?

    Similarly, this medication may not be suitable for women who are breastfeeding. There is not enough research out there to prove either way as to whether this medicine is harmful to babies, but small amounts of this medicine can make their way into your breast milk. You should speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding before you start to use this medication.

  5. Simvastatin Ingredients

    The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Simvastatin

    For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics.

  6. How much does it cost to buy Simvastatin online in the UK?

    Dosage Quantity Price
    Simvastatin 10mg tablets 28 tablets £12.99
    Simvastatin 20mg tablets 28 tablets £12.99
    Simvastatin 40mg tablets 28 tablets £12.99
    Simvastatin 80mg tablets 28 tablets £12.99

    What is Simvastatin used for?

    Simvastatin is used to treat high cholesterol and prevent further complications such as strokes, heart disease and heart attacks.

    What is Simvastatin also known as?

    Simvastatin is also known by its brand name Zocor and Simvador.

    How long does it take for Simvastatin to lower cholesterol?

    Simvastatin should significantly lower cholesterol levels within 4 weeks of taking it.

    How long will I need to take Simvastatin?

    Simvastatin will typically be prescribed to you for the rest of your life. It will successfully regulate your cholesterol levels for a long time.

    Is Simvastatin safe to take for a long time?

    Yes, Simvastatin should only be taken for a long time as it is more effective at regulating cholesterol levels when taken for many years. Simvastatin does not cause any long-lasting side effects.

    Once it has lowered my cholesterol, can I stop taking it?

    If you stop taking simvastatin once it has lowered your cholesterol, it is likely that your cholesterol will return to its previously high levels. It is important to continue taking Simvastatin as prescribed, do not stop taking this medicine unless instructed to do so by your doctor.

    How does Simvastatin compare with other statins?

    Statins are the most commonly prescribed high cholesterol treatment in the UK. They all work in different ways to lower cholesterol. When it comes to success rates, all statins are fairly similar. However, certain statins may be more effective on some individuals than others. 

    Can I take different statins?

    Switching between statins has been shown to increase the bad cholesterol in our bodies. Although as a whole statins are used to lower cholesterol, they all work in different ways, so mixing or switching between different statins will not effectively regulate your cholesterol.

    When is the best time to take Simvastatin?

    Our bodies produce more cholesterol at night, so taking Simvastatin before bedtime has been shown to be more effective at regulating cholesterol levels. Ensure you take Simvastatin at the same time every day for consistency.

    Can I drink alcohol while taking Simvastatin?

    Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol while taking Simvastatin as there are no harmful interactions between the two. However, please bear in mind that alcohol can directly increase cholesterol levels.

Written byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Published on: 12/10/2020

Updated on: 17/05/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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