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FDA Announces New Safety Recommendations for High-Dose Simvastatin
Date:6/8/2011

d analyses of adverse events submitted to the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System. All showed that patients taking simvastatin 80 mg daily had an increased risk of muscle injury compared to patients taking lower doses of simvastatin or other statin drugs. The risk of muscle injury is highest during the first year of treatment with the 80 mg dose of simvastatin, is often the result of interactions with certain other medicines, and is frequently associated with a genetic predisposition for simvastatin-related muscle injury.

Simvastatin is sold under the brand-name Zocor and as a single-ingredient generic product. It is also sold in combination with ezetimibe as Vytorin and in combination with niacin as Simcor.

The FDA has revised the drug labels for simvastatin and Vytorin to include the new 80 mg dosing restrictions. The agency also revised the labels for simvastatin, Vytorin and Simcor to include new dosing recommendations when these drugs are used with certain medications that interact to increase the level of simvastatin in the body, which can increase the risk for myopathy. Patients who are unable to adequately lower their level of LDL-C on simvastatin 40 mg should not be given the higher 80 mg dose of simvastatin;  instead, they should be placed on an alternative LDL-C-lowering treatment(s).

For more information:

FDA Drug Safety Communication: New restrictions, contraindications, and dose limitations for Zocor (simvastatin) to reduce the risk of muscle injury
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm256581.htm

Previous FDA Drug Safety Communication: Ongoing safety review of high-dose Zocor (simvastatin) and increased risk of muscle injury
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm
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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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