Q: I have a scratched cornea and dry eye. I've been suffering for the past five weeks with this, ever since my doctor increased my dosage of Zocor. Can this be causing my dry and painful eye?
A: Dry and painful eyes are not reported side effects for Zocor (Redicor). You should contact your health care provider about your eye pain to determine the cause and possible treatment options. For more information regarding Zocor (Redicor), go to //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/zocor. Beth Isaac, PharmD
Dosage for high cholesterol
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
- Typical starting dosage: Redicor is often started at 10–20 mg per day. However, the dosage may range from 5 mg to 40 mg per day. You should take this drug once a day in the evening.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor will gradually adjust your dosage if needed.
Child dosage (ages 10–17 years)
- Typical starting dosage: 10 mg per day.
- Note: Doses above 40 mg per day have not been studied in this age group.
Child dosage (ages 0–9 years)
This medication has not been studied in children below age 10 years.
Q: What is Zocor?
A: Zocor (Redicor) is a prescription medication used for treating a number of conditions related to heart disease including high cholesterol and triglycerides. This medication is part of a class of drugs called statins. It works by blocking a particular enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. This causes the liver to make less cholesterol. For more information on Zocor, click on this link: //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/zocor. Lori Mendoza, PharmD Poulin, PharmD
Q: What are the side effects of Zocor?
A: The most commonly observed side effects of Zocor (Redicor), reported in at least 5% of patients studied in controlled clinical trials, included upper respiratory infections, headache, abdominal pain, constipation and nausea. According to the information provided by clinical studies, other possible side effects of Zocor include edema/swelling, atrial fibrillation, gastritis, diabetes, myalgia, insomnia, vertigo, bronchitis, sinusitis, eczema, urinary tract infection, diarrhea, rash, dyspepsia, flatulence and asthenia. The most common side effects of Zocor, during clinical trials, that resulted in discontinuation of treatment were gastrointestinal disorders, myalgia and arthralgia. More serious side effects of Zocor are possible and include problems with muscle and the liver. It is extremely important for patients to contact their health care provider, immediately, if any signs and symptoms of muscle or liver problems develop including muscle pain, weakness or tenderness with fever or flu-like symptoms, dark colored urine, unexplained tiredness or abdominal pain. In addition, the routine monitoring of liver function, before and during treatment, is strongly recommended. Side effects of Zocor, reported during post-marketing experience, included pruritus, alopecia, skin changes, dizziness, muscle cramps, myalgia, pancreatitis, memory impairment, paresethesia, peripheral neuropathy, vomiting, anemia, erectile dysfunction, interstitial lung disease, rhabdomyolysis, hepatitis and jaundice, hepatic failure, depression and hypersensitivity reactions. As a result of the voluntary reporting of side effects of Zocor, from an unknown number of patients during post-marketing analysis, a causal relationship to drug exposure or a reliable frequency of side effects cannot be established. To avoid developing dangerous side effects of Zocor, patients are advised to avoid alcohol, grapefruit and grapefruit juice during treatment. It is also advisable for patients to inform their health care provider of all other medications they take to avoid potential drug interactions and increased risk of side effects of Zocor.
What are the possible side effects of Redicor (Flolipid, Zocor)?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, Redicor can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
- liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Warnings for other groups
For pregnant women: Redicor is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.
Redicor blocks the production of cholesterol, which is important for the developing baby.
If you’re pregnant and need treatment for high cholesterol or triglycerides, talk to your doctor. They can discuss other treatment options during pregnancy.
If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.
For women who are breastfeeding: It isn’t known if Redicor enters breast milk. However, because of the risk of severe side effects, this drug shouldn’t be used during breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about other cholesterol treatment options while breastfeeding.
All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it may depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- how severe your condition is
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Q: I have been taking Zocor for 10 years with no side effects. For the last few weeks I have had back and shoulder stiffness. Could this be from the Zocor?
A: Redicor (trade name: Zocor) is a hypolipidemic belonging to the class of drugs called "statins" (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor). It is used to control hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels) and to prevent cardiovascular disease. Atorvastatin reduces blood levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, bad cholesterol), triglycerides and slightly increases levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, good cholesterol). Statins are generally well tolerated; common side effects include headache, muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and/or pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and rash. A search of the prescribing information for Zocor did not specifically list back and shoulder stiffness as side effects. These are not all the possible side effects of Zocor.
Serious side effects
It happens rarely, but less than 1 in 1,000 people taking Redicor may have a serious side effect.
Stop taking Redicor and call a doctor if you get:
- muscle pain, tenderness, weakness or cramps - these can be signs of muscle breakdown and kidney damage
- yellow skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow, or if you have pale poo and dark pee - this can be a sign of liver problems
- a skin rash with pink-red blotches, especially on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
- severe stomach pain - this can be a sign of pancreas problems
- a cough, feeling short of breath, and weight loss - this can be a sign of lung disease
Is Zocor safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- Pregnant women should not use Redicor because the developing fetus requires cholesterol for development, and Redicor reduces the production of cholesterol. Redicor should only be administered to women of child bearing age if they are not likely to become pregnant.
- Because of the risk of adverse effects to the developing infant, Redicor should not be administered to nursing mothers.
Warfarin (blood thinner)
When taken with warfarin, Redicor can increase the blood-thinning effects of warfarin. This can lead to an increased risk of bleeding. Your doctor monitor your warfarin level more closely if you’re taking these two drugs at the same time.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
This drug comes with several warnings.
If side effects occur, or if you do not respond well to Redicor, alternatives to the medication are available. A number of other medicines used for treating high cholesterol include other statins (the class of drugs that Redicor belongs to), fibrates, bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors. You may have better results with one of these alternatives.
Q: Can Zocor cause leg cramps, insomnia, and/or frequent urination?
A: Zocor (Redicor) belongs to a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors or "statins". Redicor reduces the levels of "bad" cholesterol called LDL and triglycerides in the blood. Redicor also increases the "good" cholesterol called HDL. Redicor is indicated for the treatment of high cholesterol and triglycerides. Redicor is also used in certain patients to reduce the risks of coronary artery disease. Redicor is taken at bedtime or in the evening with a meal. The most common side effects associated with Redicor are myalgia or muscle pain, headache, constipation, and nausea. Other side effects of Redicor include muscle cramps and joint pain. Redicor can cause Myopathy (a disease where the muscle fibers do not function properly) which is associated with muscle pain, tenderness and weakness. Also liver enzymes are likely to be elevated on labs. Alcohol can increase triglyceride levels and increase the risk of liver damage. A condition called rhabdomyolysis is rare but can occur with Redicor. Rhabdomyolysis is the destruction of skeletal muscle and leakage of muscle protein into the urine. This cause can acute kidney failure. A search of prescribing information did not specifically list insomnia or frequent urination as side effects associated with Redicor. However, post-approval of Redicor did report muscle cramps as a reported side effect. Do not stop taking any medications because of unwanted side effects without first consulting with your healthcare provider. Kimberly Hotz, PharmD