Zocor® is a popular statin drug that has been prescribed since the late 1990s to treat high cholesterol. Statin drugs have positively affected the treatment of heart disease in a big way, but not without consequences. Significant side effects accompany the use of these drugs. The most common Zocor® side effects include muscle aches, constipation, diarrhea and fatigue. Muscle aches top the list of Zocor® complaints.
Statin drugs lower cholesterol in the body by inhibiting its production in the liver. This is significant in the treatment of heart disease because high cholesterol in the blood, in particular low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, has been linked to a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries. This can eventually lead to blockages in those arteries. These blockages can then seriously limit or even shut down blood flow to parts of the heart. This can result in angina, or chest pain, from a lack of blood reaching the heart muscle or it can result in a full-blown heart attack, or myocardial infarction, which is often fatal.
Drug manufacturers have developed several brands of statin drugs, each of which has a slightly different chemical formulation to avoid patent infringement and to effect a different therapeutic remedy. This allows these companies to promote their particular brand of statin as more effective than their competitors. Zocor® is a type of statin known generically as simvastatin. It was one of the first statin drugs to directly and effectively lower LDL cholesterol.
Statins are powerful drugs, so they will have side effects. Zocor® side effects include one of the most common reported by those using statins: muscle aches and pain. This is often severe enough that a small percentage of patients on statin therapy cannot continue taking Zocor®. Their physicians will then either have them try another statin drug or take them off statins altogether. This is necessary because muscle aches could be a sign that a person’s muscles are actually being damaged, which could then lead to liver or kidney failure and death.
Another one of the serious Zocor® side effects is liver damage resulting from an increase in liver enzyme output prompted by the actions of Zocor® on the liver. This damage can be permanent. That’s why routine tests to check for liver damage are a must when taking Zocor® or any statin.
Common Zocor® side effects can include digestive tract problems such as constipation, diarrhea or gas. Other symptoms include rashes, itching, dizziness, headaches and insomnia. Diminished sexual desire and erectile dysfunction sometimes result as well. Allergic reactions to Zocor® can include shortness of breath, swelling of the face and mouth, difficulty swallowing and sensitivity to sunlight.