What is Zocor?Zocor is in a class of drugs called "statins" which are used to lower cholesterol in your blood when a low-fat diet is not enough. Zocor lowers the "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood and raises the "good" HDL cholesterol. It is prescribed for people who are at risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) due to existing heart disease, diabetes, vascular disease, or a history of stroke. Zocor, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke, death from CHD, or the need for revascularization procedures (process to restore blood flow back to the heart or to another part of the body).
What is the most important information I should know about Zocor?Zocor may cause a serious muscle condition that can lead to kidney damage. The risk of this occurring is increased if you are taking a high dose or certain other medicines with it (see "What are possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?"). You should tell your doctor right away if you feel any muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort.
Zocor may cause liver injury if you have any pre-existing liver problems or drink large amounts of alcohol. It is recommended that your doctor perform liver function tests before starting Zocor, and periodically thereafter as indicated.
Zocor should not take the place of exercise and a healthy low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your doctor.
Your doctor may want you to stop taking Zocor a few days prior to any elective major surgery or if you experience any sudden serious medical or surgical condition. Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Zocor before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
Who should not take Zocor?Do not take Zocor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, nursing, or have active liver disease or a damaged liver. Also avoid it if you are allergic or sensitive to any of its ingredients.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Zocor?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zocor. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver or kidney problems; have ever experienced muscle weakness or pain in the past (especially if due to a medication); if you drink alcohol or have a history of alcohol abuse; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dose ranges from 5 to 80 milligrams (mg) taken once daily. The recommended starting dose is 20 to 40 mg once a day. If you have a high risk for coronary heart disease, the recommended staring dose is 40 mg. Your doctor should check your cholesterol levels 4 weeks after starting therapy and periodically thereafter.
Adolescents 10 to 17 years old with a family history of high cholesterol: The recommended usual starting dose is 10 mg once a day in the evening. The recommended range is 10 to 40 mg a day, with a maximum of 40 mg a day. Adjustments should be made at intervals of 4 weeks or more.
How should I take Zocor?Take it at the same time every day, usually in the evening, with or without food.
Continue to take Zocor even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
What should I avoid while taking Zocor?You should not drink large amounts of grapefruit juice (more than 1 quart daily) or large amounts of alcohol while taking Zocor. Doing so may increase your risk for serious side effects.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Zocor?If Zocor is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Check with your doctor before combining Zocor with the following: alcohol, amiodarone, blood thinners such as warfarin, bosentan, carbamazepine, clarithromycin, cyclosporine, danazol, delavirdine, digoxin, diltiazem, erythromycin, fibrates such as niacin (especially greater than 1,000 mg or 1 gram per day), fluconazole, grapefruit juice (greater than 1 quart daily), itraconazole, ketoconazole, macrolide immunosuppressants such as tacrolimus, mibefradil, nefazodone, other cholesterol-lowering medicines, rifampin, ritonavir, streptogramins such as dalfopristin, St. John's wort, telithromycin, verapamil, and voriconazole.
What are the possible side effects of Zocor?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: muscle cramps/weakness/pain, liver or pancreas injury, abdominal pain, infections, headaches, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, indigestion, rash, allergic reactions
Tell your doctor right away if you feel any muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort.
Can I receive Zocor if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?No. Zocor may cause harm to an unborn or newborn baby, and should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Zocor?If you miss a dose of Zocor, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Zocor?Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.
- Why Doctors Prescribe Cholesterol DrugsGet the facts about high cholesterol and drugs that can lower it.
- The Risks of Not Taking Your Cholesterol MedicationFind out what happens if you miss a dose and when is the best time to take cholesterol-lowering drugs
- How Drugs Can Lower CholesterolDiscover how cholesterol-lowering medications work in your body to bring your cholesterol numbers down to ideal levels.