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FDA New Warnings about Zocor

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Washington, DCThe FDA has warned about an increased risk of muscle injury with higher doses of Zocor, a cholesterol-lowering drug sold genetically as simvastin. When Zocor is combined with certain other drugs, the risk of drug injury also increases, potentially leading to rhabdomyolysis, which can result in fatal kidney damage.

Zocor is a member of the class of drugs known as statins. Although all statins carry a risk of muscle damage, new data from a SEARCH study shows that the risk for an 80 mg dose of Zocor may be much higher, and that the dosage amount shows higher risk. The SEARCH study showed that muscle damage was seen in nearly one percent of patients taking the 80 milligram dose of Zocor but in only 0.02 percent of patients taking the 20 milligram dose of Zocor.

Another study focused on combinations of drugs. It found that muscle damage was more common in patients taking 20 mg or more of Zocor doses who also took the heart rhythm drug amiodarone (brand names Cordarone, Pacerone). Patients taking another drug, verapamil (brand names Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), are warned not take Zocor at doses higher than 20 milligrams.

If you take the following drugs, you should never take Zocor:

  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Erythromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Telithromycin
  • HIV protease inhibitors
  • Nefazodone

    You should never take more than the 10 milligram dose of Zocor if you are taking:

  • Gemfibrozil
  • Cyclosporine
  • Danazol

  • As well, the new data indicates that people of Chinese descent should not take high doses of Zocor and to be careful of the drug even at lower doses.

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