• 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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What is Simvastatin?

Simvastatin is a lipid-lowering medication that belongs to the statins class of drugs.

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

You can buy Simvastatin tablets when you have a valid prescription from a registered pharmacy like Medicine Direct. We sell Simvastatin in doses of 20mg, 40mg and 80mg. If you order with us before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery.

What is Simvastatin used to treat?

Simvastatin is part of a class of drugs known as 'statins', which work to lower the production of bad cholesterol. Simvastatin is also able to prevent the production of dangerous fats which are often found in your blood, such as triglycerides, as well as produce good forms of cholesterol.

By lowering your cholesterol levels, you can also lower your risk of heart problems like heart disease or a heart attack, as well as strokes.

Who can take Simvastatin?

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

This medicine is suitable for adults and children over the age of 10 years old to take.

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 medication. If you are taking any other medicine for high cholesterol or any other illness, you should make sure your doctor is aware. Please refer to the Warnings and Drug Interactions tab on this page for a list of other medicines you should be cautious of when using Simvastatin.

Possible 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, this list is not exhaustive. For a full list, please refer to the Side Effects tab on this page.

Simvastatin Dosage

The usual starting dose for adults is between 10mg and 40mg, which should be taken once a day. If you have very high cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe you the maximum dose of 80mg.

Based on their age, children will usually be instructed to take one dose of 10mg of Simvastatin in the evening. A doctor may increase this amount after 4 weeks, up to a maximum of 40mg.

At Medicine Direct, we sell the following doses of this medication:

Simvastatin 20mg

This is the lowest strength of Simvastatin we sell. This is commonly prescribed for children or those with slightly higher than normal cholesterol.

Simvastatin 40mg

40mg is the maximum strength dose of Simvastatin that is suitable for children. This is the most commonly prescribed form for treating high cholesterol and is to be taken once daily. It is given to patients with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, a history of stroke, a high risk of a CHD event or other cerebrovascular diseases.

Simvastatin 80mg

This is the strongest possible dose of Simvastatin, to be prescribed for more serious cases of high cholesterol and related diseases, and is usually prescribed if you have not reached the desired levels of cholesterol on lower strengths of the medicine. Your doctor will have to review your symptoms before prescribing this strength of Simvastatin as it can increase the risk of myopathy.

How to take Simvastatin

It is generally recommended by doctors for patients to take Simvastatin in the evening, once a day, with a glass of water. One of the benefits of the medicine is that it does not effect the stomach, so it is safe to take before or after eating.

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.

What if I forget to take it?

If you accidentally miss a dose of Simvastatin, just take your next dose at the scheduled time. You should never take two doses and you should never double up on doses to try and make up for a missed dose.

To ensure you don't forget to take your medication, it helps if you get into a routine of taking it at the same time every day. Some people find it beneficial to set an alarm to remind them to take it.

What happens if I take more than I am supposed to?

Accidentally taking an extra dose of this medicine is unlikely to do you any harm, although you should speak to your doctor if you become worried or if you take more than one extra dose.

Simvastatin FAQ's

How can I buy Simvastatin online in the UK?

If you have been prescribed this medicine by your doctor to treat cholesterol, you can order Simvastatin. UK pharmacies like Medicine Direct stock this medicine; we have it in 20mg, 40mg and 80mg. If you order with us before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery. You should only ever order medicine online if it is from a General Pharmaceutical Council registered pharmacy, like Medicine Direct.

Can you purchase Simvastatin over the counter?

You can buy statins over the counter when you have a valid prescription from a doctor. Your doctor will prescribe you this medication if you have high cholesterol levels.

What happens if you eat or drink grapefruit while taking Simvastatin?

You must not consume grapefruit juice or any other grapefruit products while taking Simvastatin. This is because grapefruit increases the concentration of the medicine in your blood.

Can you drink alcohol while taking Simvastatin?

You are not advised to drink alcohol while taking your course of Simvastatin. Drinking alcohol in large quantities may increase your chances of suffering from side effects. It is recommended that you do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

What happens when you stop taking Simvastatin?

You may need to stop taking this medication if you experience side effects, but you should talk to your doctor before doing so, as these symptoms may be from another, unrelated issue. If you stop taking Simvastatin, you will stop receiving the benefits provided by this medication. You will not suffer from any withdrawal symptoms, but stopping your treatment may cause the levels of bad cholesterol in your body to rise again. This makes you more vulnerable to the risk of heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke. If you do want to stop taking this medicine, you should speak to your doctor about alternative ways you can lower your cholesterol.

Can I crush Simvastatin?

No, these tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew them.

How is high cholesterol diagnosed?

High cholesterol is very easy to diagnose. Your doctor will conduct a blood test called a lipid panel, which will then be sent for analysis. Your doctor will ask you to not eat or drink anything for 12 hours before you have the test. After you have been diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe you the most appropriate course of medication to treat your individual condition. If your doctor prescribes you Simvastatin, you are able to purchase it online at Medicine Direct, with the option of next day delivery if you order before 2pm.

Is it a blood thinner?

Statin medications should not be used to replace blood thinners you have been prescribed. Cholesterol medicines may thin your blood, but only by very little.

What is the best time to take Simvastatin?

Research suggests that the best time to take Simvastatin is during the evening. You should take one tablet a day, as instructed by your doctor. Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before using any medication.

What is the drug Simvastatin used to treat?

Simvastatin is commonly used to treat high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides (fats) in your blood stream. It can also be used to treat hereditary conditions which cause high blood pressure or those who are suffering from coronary heart disease, or are at the risk of developing a coronary heart disease due to diabetes. It has also been linked to increases in the production of good cholesterol.

Are there any other drugs that are similar to Simvastatin?

Simvastatin is a medicine that is primarily used to treat individuals suffering with high cholesterol. There are many other statins that are used to treat high cholesterol. The most commonly prescribed statin is Atorvastatin. Atorvastatin is another medication that works in a very similar way to Simvastatin in the way that it is consumed and helps to promote the liver’s creation of good cholesterol, effectively lowering the bad cholesterol in our body. This medicine also helps to prevent the likes of heart disease, a stroke or heart attack.

Simvastatin Serious Side Effects

Certain adverse effects you may experience can be found on the main page. All medicines come with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone who takes the medicine will get them.

Serious side effects are very rare when using Simvastatin, affecting less than 1 in every 1,000 people who take it.

Nonetheless, you should stop taking the medicine and call a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects while using Simvastatin:

  • You lose weight, have a cough or feel short of breath – these can be symptoms of lung disease
  • Severe stomach pains – this could be a sign of pancreas problems
  • Muscle pain, cramps, weakness or tenderness – this could be a sign of kidney damage or muscle breakdown
  • You have a skin rash with pink blotches, especially on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet
  • You have yellowing skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow, or you have pale stools or dark urine – these could be symptoms of liver problems

In some cases, you may experience a severe allergic reaction to taking Simvastatin. You should call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
  • You are wheezing
  • You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling
  • You have swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth, face or throat
  • You have tightness in the chest or throat

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.

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.

Certain medicines do not mix well with Simvastatin. You should consult your doctor before taking Simvastatin if you are already taking any of these medications:

  • Nefazodone to treat depression
  • Certain HIV medications
  • Certain antifungals and antibiotics
  • Warfarin to treat blood clots
  • Certain medicines to treat hepatitis C
  • Danazol to treat endometriosis
  • Amiodarone to stabilise your heart
  • Verapamil, diltiazem or amlodipine to treat heart problems and high blood pressure
  • Ciclosporin to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis

If you need to take any of the above medicines while also using Simvastatin, your doctor may do one of several things:

  • Prescribe a different statin medicine for cholesterol such as Atovastatin, Pravastatin, Fluvastatin.
  • Prescribe a lower dose of Simvastatin
  • Suggest you stop using Simvastatin temporarily

It should be noted that any herbal remedies which contain St. John's Wort (used to treat depression) will reduce the amount of Simvastatin in your blood, hindering the medication's effectiveness.

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.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

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.

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 its way into your breast milk. You should speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding, before you start to use this medication.

Simvastatin Ingredients

The active ingredient contained in this medication is Simvastatin, 10mg, 20mg or 40mg, depending on the dose you have been prescribed for your cholesterol.

Other ingredients also contained in the medicine are: Butylated hydroxyanisole (E320), ascorbic acid (E300), citric acid monohydrate (E330), microcrystalline cellulose (E460a), pregelatinized maize starch, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate (E470B)

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

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091


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