Does Zocor cholesterol medicine work… and are there risks to taking it? I think we all have questions about medications that are prescribed.
No matter if you were just informed of it or if you have known for some time that you have high LDL cholesterol levels, you should probably have good reason to be concerned. It is a known fact that having excessive amounts of LDL cholesterol can mean that you would be at greater risk of contracting heart disease. This is the leader in the cause of death in the United States.
It is no laughing matter to have your LDL or bad cholesterol levels skyrocket out of control. If this situation is ignored it could lead to such severe health problems such as kidney damage, stroke, diabetes mellitus and death.
The first reaction you may have is to visit your family physician. This will probably mean that you will have to take a prescription medication or statin drug for the remainder of your life. Some of these drugs have major side effects which include dizziness, fatigue, impotence, depression, liver damage and more.
Have you heard about Zocor? It was designed to aid in reducing cholesterol levels by inhibiting the body from producing cholesterol. Zocor medicine is able to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein or LDL.
This is the bad type of cholesterol and the total amount of cholesterol that is found in your blood. Zocor can reduce the risk of having a heart attack, stroke and other types of vascular disease by lowering the amount of cholesterol in your blood. It will help lower your risk of developing heart disease and will also prevent hardening of the arteries.
People Who Should Not Take Zocor
A woman who is pregnant or who is breastfeeding a baby should not take Zocor. If a woman becomes pregnant and is already taking Zocor, she should immediately let her doctor know.
It is believed by some that Zocor causes birth defects. You should not take Zocor cholesterol medicine if you have liver disease. If you have an allergic reaction you should stop taking it and notify your doctor.
If you have certain health problems such as kidney disease, diabetes, a known muscle disorder, have an underactive thyroid or if you have any known drug allergies, you may not be a candidate for Zocor.
Take your Zocor cholesterol medication according to instructions and only use it for as long as your doctor prescribes it. Your blood should be tested regularly to see if Zocor is actually doing the job of lowering your cholesterol levels. Your physician may also want your liver function tested while you are taking this medication.
Study of Zocor
A study was conducted to try to find out how effective Zocor (also known as Simvastatin) was in reducing the level of cardiovascular risks. A study showed that people who had diabetes and took 40mg. of Zocor daily were able to lower the risk of having a first nonfatal heart attack and other major coronary events by 27% no matter what their cholesterol or glucose levels were.
This study was published in The Lancet in 2003. This study included approximately 6,000 men and women between the ages of 40 and 80 and who had diabetes. This study ran for a five-year period and some people were given Zocor medicine while others took a placebo.
This group included 2,912 people who had not been diagnosed with heart disease. Approximate 90% of those people who participated in the study had type 2 diabetes. The patients who took part in this study and who were taking Zocor were able to reduce their LDL cholesterol levels on the average of 39 mg/dl.
If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or have a high cholesterol level may want to consider taking Zocor to help reduce the possibility of having heart bypass surgery or having an angioplasty in order to clear out clogged arteries. You may want to ask your doctor if taking Zocor can help you from having a stroke or a heart attack.
Side Effects of Zocor and Other Drugs for Cholesterol Treatment
Zocor, whose generic name is Simvastatin, is used as a cholesterol lowering drug that helps to block cholesterol production in the body. It helps to reduce low density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol levels as well as total cholesterol levels in the body.
High cholesterol may lead to different critical health complications such as stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular disorders. Although Zocor helps to protect the body from these kinds of complications, there are significant side effects of Zocor just like other drugs that treat high cholesterol.
Side Effects of Zocor
Many drugs have different side effects for treating cholesterol and Zocor is no different. In rare conditions, Zocor may lead to a condition that may turn into collapsing skeletal muscle tissue which may lead to kidney failure.
The common symptoms of this are unexplained muscle pain, muscle weakness, tenderness, flu-like symptoms, fever and dark-colored urine. Doctors strongly discourage taking Zocor and other cholesterol medications due to potential birth defects during the time of pregnancy.
If you are currently taking Zocor and do not follow a low cholesterol diet, it will probably not be of much help in minimizing your LDL and total cholesterol levels. Therefore, you may experience side effects with Zocor without seeing any kind of specific benefits. The common side effects for Zocor include muscle pain and weakness, constipation, nausea and /or diarrhea.
Other Significant Influencing Factors
You should not use Zocor if you are pregnant, nursing or if you suffer from kidney disease. If you are a diabetic, have an under active thyroid or have a muscle disorder, you should not take Zocor without first consulting your physician.
You should always take your doctor’s advice before taking Zocor or any other cholesterol-lowering drugs. This will help reduce the possibility of side effects. If you are using Zocor, it is recommended that you use an effective means of birth control.
Zocor and some of the other cholesterol drugs may have adverse reactions in some conditions. You should refrain from using alcohol when you take Zocor as alcohol consumption increases triglyceride levels. Alcohol consumption has a very adverse effect on kidney function if you take Zocor while consuming alcohol.
You may also not eat grapefruit or consume grapefruit juice while taking Zocor as consuming these products may be dangerous.