According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the 80 mg dosage of Zocor ® (simvastatin), which treats high cholesterol, needs to be sharply lowered to avoid myopathy. The 80 mg dose should only treat patients who have been taking the drug for more than a year without having any side effects. The FDA says that new patients should start at 40 mg dose.
“Our overall goal,” according to Eric Colman, M.D., deputy director of the FDA, “is to get doctors to not start patients on 80 mg of simvastatin.”
Myopathy, an injury to the muscle that causes pain or weakness, is a result of interactions of Zocor® with other medications, Colman said. He also said that some people seem have genetic predisposition to myopathy caused by Zocor ®.
Patients taking Zocor ® and their doctors should be alert for symptoms of myopathy, which include unexplained:
Rhabdomyolysis, a more serious complication of taking Zocor ®. This condition can cause kidney failure which can be fatal.
A report by doctors in Dunedin, New Zealand, of 8 cases of rhabdomyolysis, with 2 deaths, developing in patients taking between 20 mg and 80 mg of simvastatin. They all complained of muscle pain early in their treatment. According to the report, 6 of the patients were taking a combination of simvastatin and atorvastatin, another cholesterol lowering drug.
If you have taken Zocor ® and have been diagnosed with myopathy or rhabdomyolysis, contact The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess today!