Zocor Side Effects – Common and Rare
Zocor is a common brand name for the medicine simvastatin. It is in a class of medications known as statin drugs that are used to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. They produce their results by inhibiting the amount of cholesterol that is produced in the liver. These high cholesterol medications are some of the most abundantly prescribed drugs in the United States, with nearly twenty million people using statin drugs regularly to control their cholesterol. However, like other medicines of this type, the list of Zocor side effects is long, and includes some very serious although rare adverse effects. This may explain why as many as one quarter of users discontinue these types of cholesterol medications in the first six months of therapy.
Almost all statin drugs work in the same way. However, they may be made differently. For instance, Zocor is in a class of statins that are fermentation derived. Conversely, other popular medications like the likely best known leader, Lipitor, are derived via synthetic means. However, while it may seem that Zocor has a leg up on Lipitor in terms of manufacture with one process sounding more natural or desirable than the other, this phraseology has little to do with production, and both medications share a great majority of adverse reactions in those affected by them. For instance, Lipitor side effects like muscle pain and weakness is similar to that encountered by users of Zocor, and the reaction is typical in a small portion of statin users.
In fact, not exclusive to Zocor side effects, problems with the muscles are likely one of the most common complaints among statins side effects. For many people, this refers to a simple pain or discomfort felt in the muscles that may come and go. For others, the symptoms may be more severe. In extremely rare but documented cases, this muscle pain may be a precursor to something far more ominous, a condition known as rhabdomyolysis. This condition is characterized by the breakdown of skeletal muscle, and eventually can end in renal failure.
Serious Zocor side effects do not stop at kidney and muscle damage, however. WebMD details a long list of serious adverse effects related to taking the medicine. These serious cholesterol medications side effects include commonalities that are risks to taking any medicines like allergic reactions, to strange and terrible drug related effects like toxic epidermal necrolysis, which literally refers to the skin all over the body detaching itself from the tissue below. Cataracts, problems with the tissue in the lungs, hepatitis and liver failure, lupus like conditions, jaundice and pancreatitis are all potentially associated with Zocor side effects, according to WebMD. However, while these cholesterol medications side effects are scary, serious and can be downright deadly, the majority of side effects related to using statins like Zocor are much less severe.
Commonly, Zocor side effects include gastrointestinal upset. This can mean nausea, diarrhea, increased flatulence and a loss of appetite. Aside from these, additional common adverse reactions to Zocor can include tiredness and fatigue. When mild, these symptoms are nothing to worry about and normal, however if they persist or become severe, it is worth mentioning them to your doctor because they can indicate more serious Zocor side effects potentially taking form such as those affecting the liver or kidneys. Odd but not entirely ominous effects like a heightened sensitivity to the sun, enlargement of the breasts and a dry mouth have been linked to Zocor use. And complaints of the dermis, like itchiness, redness and occasional swelling have also been potentially connected with using Zocor.
Although they may not seem severe, neurological issues have been listed as Zocor side effects. To some, the constant misplacing of car keys is little more than a nuisance, but by those affected by serious neurological challenges presented by statin use like severe memory loss, confusion and even amnesia and Alzheimer’s, these rare but very serious mental woes more than earn a severe side effect rating. Mental effects are not limited to Zocor, and can present with the use of all statin drugs, which is why these types of side effects should be discussed with a health care provider, especially if symptoms are worsening.
Zocor is a popular and effective medicine used alongside lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol numbers. In many users, it is a safe and successful tool that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular illness. However, Zocor side effects are present, and in rare cases, can be severe. This is why gaining a full understanding of the risks and the benefits of the medication are part of an essential conversation to have with a health care provider to determine whether Zocor is right for you.