Q: What effects does Zocor have on the liver? I had hepatitis B 30 years ago. I understand that vitamin C supplements should be limited. Is that also correct? Also, is coQ10 reduced in the liver? This is important for the heart, correct?
A: Zocor (Zimstat) can increase liver enzymes occasionally. Doctors usually watch this by doing blood tests periodically. Studies show that it is usually well-tolerated and taken by many patients. Please keep up with doctor's appointments so that liver function can be continuously monitored. Studies suggest that vitamin C is a excreted through the urine since it is water-soluble. Many medications are metabolized in the liver and therefore, with the history of hepatitis, it is important to monitor liver function frequently. Coenzyme Q10 is sometimes taken to combat the side effects of statins (medications like Zocor) such as muscle pain. Controlling high cholesterol is very important in promoting heart health. Please consult your physician prior to starting any new medications.
3. Who can and can't take Zimstat
Zimstat can be taken by adults and children over the age of 10 years.
Zimstat isn't suitable for some people. Tell your doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to Zimstat or any other medicines in the past
- have liver or kidney problems
- are trying to get pregnant, think you might be pregnant, you're already pregnant, or you're breastfeeding
- have severe lung disease
- regularly drink large amounts of alcohol
- have an underactive thyroid
- have, or have had, a muscle disorder (including fibromyalgia)
Q: I am having problems with muscles and low energy. Could it be caused by the medications I am taking? I take Keppra, Zocor and Zoloft.
A: A common side effect of the statin medications, such as Zocor (Zimstat), used to treat high cholesterol, is muscle pain, aches or weakness. If you are experiencing this side effect and cannot attribute it to exercise or normal muscle strain you should consult with your physician. Keppra (levetiracetam) is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures. The commonly reported side effects include drowsiness, weakness and flu-like symptoms. Zoloft (sertraline), is an antidepressant medication, that has been commonly reported to cause drowsiness and fatigue, occurring in up to 16 percent of patients taking the medication during studies. You should consult with your physician if any of your side effects are affecting your daily activities to see if any options are available to you to help with the muscle and low energy problems you are experiencing. For more information on these medications: //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/keppra //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/zocor //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/zoloft Lori Poulin, PharmD
Q: What is the generic equivalent of Zocor?
A: The generic equivalent of Zocor is known as Zimstat. The generic equivalent of Zocor, Zimstat, is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor which is approved for the treatment of hyperlipidemia in several populations of patients. For most medications, generic equivalents are a lower-cost alternative to the more expensive brand-name medication, and the majority of patients observe no changes in therapeutic effect. However, some patients will experience a change in effect and must continue treatment with the brand-name medication. If therapy is changed, by a health care provider, from the brand-name to the generic equivalent of Zocor, cholesterol levels and liver function should be routinely monitored prior to switching treatment options and periodically thereafter. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that generic medications be bioequivalent to the brand-name medication and, therefore, exert the same pharmacologic effects in the body. Generic medications are considered, by the FDA, to be identical to the brand-name counterparts in dose, strength, route of administration, safety, efficacy and intended use. Generic medications will appear differently and may have different inactive ingredients, however, the labeling and directions for use remain the same. Frequently reported side effects for the generic equivalent of Zocor are similar those observed in patients being treated with the brand-name medication and may include upper respiratory infections, headache, abdominal pain, constipation and nausea. The warnings and precautions associated with Zocor are also possible with the generic equivalent of Zocor. According to the prescribing information for Zocor, warnings and precautions, possible with treatment, include skeletal muscle effects of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis, and liver enzyme abnormalities. The generic equivalent of Zocor should be administered exactly the same as the brand-name medication. Zimstat is indicated to be administered once daily in the evening. Zimstat can be taken without regard to food.
In a 48-week, controlled study in adolescent boys and girls who were at least 1 year post-menarche, 10 to 17 years of age (43.4% female, 97.7% Caucasians, 1.7% Hispanics, 0.6% Multiracial) with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (n=175), treated with placebo or Zimstat (10 to 40 mg daily), the most common adverse reactions observed in both groups were upper respiratory infection, headache, abdominal pain, and nausea .
- The most serious potential side effects are liver damage and muscle inflammation or breakdown. Zimstat shares side effects, such as liver and muscle damage associated with all statins. Serious liver damage caused by statins is rare. More often, statins cause abnormalities of liver tests. Abnormal tests usually return to normal even if a statin is continued, but if the abnormal test value is greater than three times the upper limit of normal, the statin usually is stopped. Liver tests should be measured before Zimstat is started and if there is a medical concern about liver damage thereafter.
- Inflammation of the muscles caused by statins can lead to a serious breakdown of muscle cells called rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis causes the release of muscle protein (myoglobin) into the blood. Myoglobin can cause kidney failure and even death. When used alone, statins cause rhabdomyolysis in less than one percent of patients. To prevent the development of rhabdomyolysis, patients taking Zimstat should contact their health care professional immediately if they develop unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or muscle tenderness.
- Statins have been associated with increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels as are seen in diabetes.
Dosage for high cholesterol
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
- Typical starting dosage: Zimstat 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.
COMMON BRAND(S): Zocor
GENERIC NAME(S): Zimstat
OTHER NAME(S): Zimstat Tablet
Zimstat is used along with a proper diet to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as "statins." It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lowering "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides and raising "good" cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.
In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.
A lipid-lowering HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor used to improve lipid profiles and reduce mortality from coronary heart diseasse, diabetes and stroke.
EffectDecreases total cholesterol by 27%, LDL-C by 35–60%, triglycerides by 20–37%, and increases HDL-C by 5–9%.
Adverse effectsConstipation, flatulence, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, myalgia, muscle weakness.
What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Zimstat?
Common side effects of Zimstat include:
Less common side effects of Zimstat include:
Postmarketing side effects of Zimstat reported include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Interstitial lung disease
- Rare reports of cognitive impairment (e.g., memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion) associated with statin use
This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.