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Zocor (simvastatin)

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The Zocor cholesterol drug, a member of the class of drugs known as statins, is prescribed to many people with high cholesterol when diet and exercise are inadequate. Since 2002, the FDA has issued warnings about Zocor liver damage and increased Zocor myopathy (muscle damage) associated with statins. A recent Zocor SEARCH study shows that higher doses of the Zocor drug (simvastatin) can cause an increased risk of muscle damage and Zocor toxicity. The Zocor study reported muscle damage in nearly one percent of patients taking an 80 milligram dose of Zocor. The FDA has warned that the risk of Zocor side effects is also increased when Zocor simvastatin is combined with certain other drugs.


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Zocor Simvastatin

Zocor, a synthetic statin developed by Merck & Co., was the company's best-selling drug and the second most popular drug worldwide, with sales of $4.3 billion in 2005, the year Merck's patent expired. Simvastatin is an ingredient in Merck & Co's Zocor and Abbott Laboratories Inc's Simcor, and is now sold generically. Zocor was also combined with Zetia as Merck and Schering-Plough Corp's Vytorin— which faced over one hundred Vytorin-Zetia class action lawsuits involving consumer fraud. (Vytorin has been shown to provide no medical benefits over cheaper generic alternatives and its marketing of the medication was investigated by the US Department of Justice.) The Zetia/Vytorin issue has been ongoing with Merck, and a Vytorin-Zetia settlement has been reached.

Zocor Warning

ZocorIn June 2011, the US FDA announced a simvastatin warning update, alerting patients to the risk of muscle injury (myopathy) when simvastatin was used at the highest doses (80 mg) and especially within the first 12 months of taking the medication. According to the FDA, no new patients should be put on the 80 mg dose and patients currently on that dose should only continue if they have used simvastatin for more than a year without muscle pain. The warning also applies to Vytorin.

The previous Zocor FDA warning in March 2010 is part of an ongoing investigation into Zocor and other cholesterol drug side effects. (An extensive list of Zocor side effects and precautions can be found online.)

Zocor Side Effects

More serious Zocor side effects can include myopathy (muscle pain and tenderness), rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown of muscle cells), cardiomyopathy (a decrease in heart muscle function), and liver disease. Zocor or simvastatin side effects can also include gas, dizziness, constipation, headache, diarrhea, or upset stomach.

Some additional Zocor warnings include:
  • Do not use these medicines if you have liver disease
  • Do not use these medicines if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Use these medicines with caution if you are also taking Gemfibrozil, Amiodarone, Verapamil, or blood thinners (anticoagulants)
  • People who use some HIV medicines, birth control pills (oral contraceptives), Nefazodone, and niacin should talk to their doctor about the specific risks of using statins
  • Drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice every day may affect the medicine
Consult your physician to discuss the full range of Zocor side effects.

If you are starting therapy with simvastatin, or had your dose of Zocor increased, you should contact a health professional immediately if you have experienced symptoms of fever, dark urine, and any unexplained muscle injury, such as muscle cramps, pain, tenderness, stiffness or spasm. You might also consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Zocor Myopathy

The use of statins is associated with a condition known as statin myopathy, in which the patient experiences muscle pain and tenderness. This condition is reportedly linked to the dose size, meaning the higher the Zocor (simvastatin) dose, the higher the likelihood of experiencing muscle pain. In extreme cases, the muscle cells can break down (a condition known as rhabdomyolysis) and release myoglobin (a protein) into the patient's bloodstream, which can cause damage to the kidneys as the kidneys try to filter the protein out of the bloodstream.

ZocorRhabdomyolysis is treatable and patients can recover if the disease is caught in its early stages. But if the disease is left untreated, acute kidney failure develops in 30-40 percent of patients.

In 2002, the FDA issued its first warning about the risk of rhabdomyolysis to healthcare professionals not to administer more than 20 mg/day of simvastatin to patients receiving heart drugs containing amiodarone such as Cordarone and Pacerone. But in August 2008, the FDA issued another warning because it continued to receive reports of the muscle disease in patients taking both simvastatin and amiodarone. The agency reported that 52 more patients had developed rhabdomyolysis while taking simvastatin and amiodarone between the 2002 original warning and 2008. The FDA first linked Zocor (simvastatin) and another drug, Cardizem (diltiazem, used to treat chest pain or angina), to myopathy in mid-2009 and issued a statement saying it was evaluating the issue to determine if simvastatin labeling, which includes myopathy, is adequate.

Clinical trial data reviewed from SEARCH--the Study of the Effectiveness of Additional Reductions in Cholesterol and Homocysteine—includes new Zocor warnings, prompting the FDA to request that the simvastatin sponsor change the product labeling: healthcare professionals are instructed to avoid prescribing simvastatin doses greater than 40 mg daily when patients are taking the medication diltiazem, due to an increased risk for myopathy.

Zocor Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a life-threatening condition in which the patient's heart muscle does not function properly. Patients who develop cardiomyopathy can experience arrhythmia or sudden cardiac death. According to a 2002 paper by Peter H. Langsjoen, MD (written as the introduction of a petition requesting stronger warnings about statins sent to the FDA), statin side effects can be deadly.

"Statins kill people—lots of people—and they wound many, many more," Langsjoen writes. He goes on to note that during his time as a doctor he has witnessed "a frightening increase in heart failure secondary to statin usage, 'statin cardiomyopathy'." He further warns about an epidemic caused at least partly by the use of statins.

The concern, according to the petition written by Dr. Julian Whitaker is that Zocor and other statins are linked to a depletion of coenzyme Q10 levels in patients. Depletion of coenzyme Q10 is linked to negative cardiac effects in humans, including congestive heart failure.

Zocor and Liver Disease

According to information from the Mayo Clinic, statin use can occasionally cause an increase in liver enzymes. In some patients, that increase may be severe and, if not treated, can result in permanent liver damage. Patients are advised to have a blood test six weeks after beginning treatment with a statin, such as Zocor, to ensure their liver is functioning normally. The increase in liver enzymes can often be reversed by discontinuing the medication.

Patients who have liver disease are discouraged from using Zocor.

Zocor Side Effects Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered side effects from Zocor, you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a possible class action lawsuit. Please click the link below to submit your complaint and we will have a lawyer review your Zocor complaint.

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Michael Hingle & Associates, LLC Files Lawsuits Against Makers of Cholesterol Drug, Zocor
Michael Hingle & Associates, LLC Files Lawsuits Against Makers of Cholesterol Drug, Zocor
August 1, 2012
- In June 2012, Michael Hingle & Associates, LLC filed among the nation’s first lawsuits against the manufacturers of the cholesterol drug, Zocor. The complaints allege that Zocor caused the plaintiffs to suffer from muscle and kidney damage. READ MORE

FDA Takes Tougher Stand on Zocor 20 Years After Initial Approval
FDA Takes Tougher Stand on Zocor 20 Years After Initial Approval
June 26, 2011
The announcement earlier this month by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with regard to serious Zocor side effects has prompted critics to wonder what cumulative damage the 80mg dose of Zocor (simvastatin) has wreaked in the 20 years since its approval by he FDA in 1991. READ MORE

Zocor and Simvastatin Hit with New FDA Restrictions
Zocor and Simvastatin Hit with New FDA Restrictions
June 9, 2011
Thirteen years after high-dose Zocor was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a drug whose benefits outweighed its risks, the health regulator has slapped new restrictions on the drug over concern for the onset of myopathy. READ MORE


Posted by

I've been taking Simvastatin for several years. I began experiencing numbness in my left foot and leg, and the lower buttocks. I also had a bipass surgery for peripheral artery disease a few months after the numbness began. At first it was very painful, but now it's mostly just numb with little spikes occasionally. When it first began it was attributed to the peripheral artery disease and then when it didn't go away after the surgery they said it was my back because they had noticed a bulging disk on the pre-op CT scan. I was able to resolve the back issue with physical therapy but the numbness persisted. I am also a type 2 diabetic with hypothyroidism. I kinda gave up at this point and learned to live with it. After doing some of my own research, I experimented by stopping the Simvastatin for 2 weeks and experienced some improvement. I then restarted the drug and just consulted with my doctor about it today. He's sending me for some nerve studies. I believe it was the Simvastatin that caused my nerve problems and I'm hoping that it can be reversed. If not, and the Simvastatin is to blame, then they caused a big problem for me on top of all my other health issues.

Posted by

will Zocor 80 mg causes peripheral neuropathy

Posted by

I am a 43 yr old women with a crazy amount of issues, which everything Seems to mimic one another, i have a increased liver size of 16.6 cm (normal for a adult women is 7 cm adult male 10cm, I was told not having a gallbladder no longer for almost 12 yrs that this is why , I have also been on cholesterol meds starting with Lipitor and then being switched to zocor since I am 27!!! I have massive muscle weakness, sometimes walking up steps is even hard, I have a hard time even taking a shower and to keep my arms up to dry my hair!! The quatily of life isn't normal for my age, yes I have other issues like degenerated disc diease, failed back surgeries, stomach issues, a lot of testing with opening end. With rods in my back it is very hard to do pretty much anything including sitting, laying down you name it , I have a problem a lot that mimic each other fibro, Possiby MS carry lymes antibody, insulin resistance, thyroid issues the list goes on sometime I am like what is the point of living with all these issues I feel useless most of the time blood work seems fine a actual diagnostic test bet your ass I am going in for surgery I have 2 pending as I type this! It is sad a dr once told me no way should I of been on this medicine since I am 27 as most start it at my current age should they need it!!!! I feel misdiagnosed, I feel like they do the blame game to other things listed I have but yet no one wants to look beyond the lab work I feel as if they are playing Russian roulette with my life

Posted by

My grandmother was prescribed Amlodipine and Simvastatin by Dr. in San Diego. He had been prescribing these medications for what I believe to be quite some time. My grandmother is approximately 4 ft 11, so she was a rather small individual. She was healthy for her age - independent, walked everyday to the park, gardened, cooked, no decline in mental status, and she was always in good spirits.

Christmas 2014, while visiting my family, I was asking about how she was doing, as I always do. They had mentioned her doctor increased dosage of the statin drug. I have a medical background, but I am not a Doctor or Nurse. I also am not an idiot. I started out in phlebotomy at the age of 24, became a CNA, went to Pharmacy Tech school, acquired my EKG license, and am in my senior module of Surgical Technology at the age of 32. I had done my own research on statin drugs for a Naturopathic Medicine class, and know of the conflicting studies. I asked my family why he increased the dosage because my gut feeling was it seemed strange, but figured I didnt know any better, but I still was worried. I study healthcare, but I do NOT trust the pharmaceutical companies. Studying as a pharmacy tech opened my eyes to many questionable practices in medicine, and still to this day I refuse to take any chemicals in pill form, even OTC meds for just a headache. I refuse to line their pockets. It's dirty blood money.

Christmas 2015, I noticed my grandmother looked much skinnier. Although she was always happy to see my brother and I, my mom said, "At least she's talking today". I didn't understand what she meant by it. That night, for some reason, I just could not let her go from my embrace when my brother and I had to drive back to our residence in Los Angeles.

I had no idea that 2 months prior my Mom and Aunt brought my grandma to the ER where she was told to stop taking Amlodipine and Simvastatin completeley!!!! When the home health nurse and my mother called Dr., he did EVERYTHING to avoid their calls. They were ignored!!!!!

On January 5 2016, my grandma suffered a massive intracerebral henorraghic stroke that affected her brainstem which contains 10 of the 12 cranial nerves that control heart rate, breathing and respiratory rate, hunger, motor functions, just to name a few. Her team of doctors and neurosurgeons said the brain damage was too fargone, and it was one of the worst bleeds they had seen on a CT.

Her diaphragm ceased to work, she was in a vegetative state, and she required the use of a ventilator.

Once visiting hours were over, she went into cardiac arrest, and passed away on January 6, 2016 at Scripps Mercy Hospital Hillcrest.

I believe she was negligently loaded up with Simvastatin and Amlodipine. I believe she had statin toxicity, and without disclosing side effects to my family, Yorobe ordered her off the medications after her October visit to the ER. My gut is telling me her weight loss was due to deterioration of her muscle fibers. I believe she was suffering from statin induced rhabdomyolysis. I believe her personality changes were due to statin overload destroying her brain. My gut is telling me this is statin induced cardiomyopathy. My gut is telling me this calicified her vessels causing the tear. My gut is telling me the negligent overprescription of Simvastatin is what lead to this foreboding event.

I will spend my career in healthcare with this as my purpose. I know what I am meant to do now, as I know 1 in 3 women die of a stroke. I come from a long line of Mom is the eldest of her sisters, and I know its only a matter of time before I have to watch someone else in my family die and I will be damned if it is iatrogenic.

I don't ever want this to happen to anyone else. My grandmother never deserved this. I believe in Karma, and those who are taking this blood money to the bank, your day will come.

Posted by

I took zocor and it damaged my liver it run my enzyme s out of site and now I have liver damage and it makes me ich something real bad and I have ask lawyer after lawyers to help and they don't but I do need a lawyer to help me because I know zocor damaged my liver I took it from 2008 to 2011 with out a liver test now my liver is damaged so pleases if anybody can help pleases.

Posted by

Idk if it's from the zocor but I have so much muscle weakness plus crazy nausea and weight loss due to barely being able to force myself to eat. I have been taking it a few years now at 40mgs daily. My doctor has done biopsies on my esophagus, stomach lining and intestines - no cancer, hooray! - but I'm still losing weight and muscle strength.

Posted by

My name is emery Dixon and I took zocor in 2008 till 2011 and now my liver is damaged form taking it and I could not find a lawyer to take my case but I know zocor coused my liver damaged and it is harbel what I go thure with my liver so if anyone can help please let me no. Emery dixon

Posted by

This medication has caused me to have some muscle problems. I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis and the doctor said it was from the statin Zocor medication I've been taking. It's causing me to have high levels of enzymes in blood and muscle loss, along with a lot of weakness.

Posted by

I started taking zorco in 2008 when i had my heart a tack and i took it til 2011 and it run my emizines out of sight and damaged my liver i have sufferd from itching abd it is horrible to and it was nothing worng with my liver til i started taking zocor and when the doctor found out my emzines was real high he toke me off of zocor
Emery dixon

Posted by

Suffered financially from hospital bills. Can no longer take cholesterol medicine, which means I have to become a vegetarian. Suffered from kidney failure while in the hospital because of the Rhabdo.

Posted by

I have burning pain on the tops of my feet most every night; often to the point of waking me and not allowing me to fall back to sleep.

Posted by

Zocor affected my liver as stated in my medical records. While taking Zocor, I was also having more heart problems. If it's true about the discoveries that statins affect the heart muscles, maybe I'm one among the victims because since I was using STATINS my health conditions never felt better but getting worse. Since I had my heart surgery I made several trips to different hospitals , from California to Las Vegas , maybe close to 50 times already. 95 % due to heart problems. I already had a total of 8 stents implanted, meaning my heart muscle is already mutilated because of ischemias, heart attacks (several) and more heart problems.


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