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Simvastatin side effects

Simvastatin is a treatment used to help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. It does this by influencing specific enzymes in the liver. It's usually recommended as a daily oral treatment and although side effects are rarely experienced, they are a possibility with any type of prescription medication. Below is an outline of the different types of Simvastatin side effects that can develop. Taking Simvastatin when it's safe for you to do so, meaning that there aren't any current health conditions or medications that could interact with the treatment, significantly reduces your chances of getting them.


It is quite common to experience mild headaches or dizziness after taking Simvastatin. Behavioural changes, memory loss or sleep disturbances are far more rare and should be discussed with a doctor if they occur.


An upset stomach is a common side effect of Simvastatin. This could occur as general sickness, abdominal pain, constipation or nausea.


Skin rashes and itchiness may occur but this is not very common.


Muscle aches, pains, weakness, tenderness or cramps are not common but may be an indication of muscle damage and as such should be reported to a doctor if they occur.

Simvastatin side effects

Click on the relevant area of the body to find out about how it may be affected by Simvastatin

Simvastatin side effects

Side effects only affect one in every 1,000 or 10,000 people and luckily most of these effects are quite mild and pass quickly:

  • Anaemia
  • Dizziness, headaches or numbness or loss of sensation in the arms and legs
  • Upset stomach
  • Hair loss, rash or itchiness
  • Weakness

If you are worried about any of these side effects it’s best to seek medical advice and help.

More serious Simvastatin side effects

There have been people who have reported muscle damage as a result of taking Simvastatin, although this is extremely unlikely. You should seek help you start developing sleep disturbances, memory loss, depression or breathing problems as these Simvastatin side effects may develop alongside effects that indicate muscle damage.

It’s possible for people to develop side effects when they take Simvastatin, if you experience Simvastatin side effects that resemble an allergic reaction you should also seek medical help and advice straight away.

How can these Simvastatin side effects be avoided?

Specific groups of people can’t use this medication as it may be more likely to cause Simvastatin side effects or negatively affect your health. It’s therefore advised that you don’t take Simvastatin if you have liver problems, you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are allergic to the active ingredient.

If you have kidney problems, you are over the age of 70, awaiting surgery, consume excessive amounts of alcohol regularly, have a family history of muscle disorders you may have to adjust how you take this medication to avoid Simvastatin side effects.

Are there medications that can influence how Simvastatin works?

As Simvastatin is a daily treatment for high cholesterol it normally works well alongside most medications. However, taking some medicines with Simvastatin may make it more probable that you’ll develop certain Simvastatin side effects or may influence how either medications work in your body. It is therefore incredibly important that during your doctor’s consultation for Simvastatin you mention if you are taking any other medications as well.

Medications that could interact with Simvastatin are: some anti-depressants, some HIV medicines, erythromycin or anti-fungal treatments.

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