Cholesterol Drugs 5 Comments

Brand Names:

Zocor® also contained in: Vytorin (with ezetimibe (Zetia) and Simcor (combination with Niacin)

What is it?

Simvastatin lowers cholesterol. More importantly it lowers the worst part of your cholesterol (LDL). You can remember that LDL is bad by by pretending "L" stands for lethal. Your LDL should ideally be below 130. Simvastatin also lowers the triglyceride part of your cholesterol. Click Here for more info on the parts of your cholesterol

What’s In It For Me?

LDL and triglycerides are two important factors that cause clogging of your arteries. This can lead to chest pain and heart attacks. It also can make a stroke more likely. Lowering these with simvastatin reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Click here to calculate your actual risk and scroll down to find the benefits and risks of simvastatin. (close the calculator window to come back here.

The Good

Simvastatin is very good at lowering cholesterol and LDL cholesterol specifically. More importantly, studies have confirmed that simvastatin lowers the risk of heart attacks and death, especially in people who have had evidence of clogging of the arteries, such as Angina (chest pain) or previous heart attack.


The Bad

Like all medications, simvastatin can have side effects. The most common is muscle pain, although it occurs in less than 10% of patients.  The muscle pain can worsen into muscle damage and broken down muscle can then damage your kidneys, but this is very rare. Finally, there is a tiny chance that it can damage your liver, but this problem is so rare, you are more likely to be struck by lightning on the way to the pharmacy.

The  Controversial

The challenge is to decide who really needs their cholesterol treated. Cholesterol is only one of many things that can increase your heart attack risk. Fifty percent of people with heart attacks have normal cholesterol. The higher the total cholesterol and the lower the HDL,  and the more other risks you have, the more important it is to take simvastatin. To calculate your risk (if you don’t have diabetes or a history of heart trouble)  Click here (close the calculator window to come back)

Fact Boxes

Low to Moderate Risk People


Framingham calculated 10 year heart attack risk

Estimated risk if you take simvastatin











High Risk People

(those with a recent heart attack)

Events in 4 years of treatment

Sugar Pill


Heart Attacks






If you have diabetes, your risk is thought to be at least 20% risk in the next 10 years.


For The Cynic:

The same statistics used for a low risk person, could be stated as follows: You have a 96% chance of being heart attack free for 4 years and simvastatin might improve the this to a 97% chance. 


The Cost:

Simvastatin is available as a generic drug, so if you have a generic/brand copay, it will be cheaper.  It is on the $4 list for the pharmacies that have a $4 list. Simvastatin gets our highest 5 star rating because it is highly effective and inexpensive.

5 Responses to Simvastatin

  1. just correcting

    Simvastatin is not on the Walmart and Target $4 generic list unless they have not updated their websites and I have never only paid $4 sorry:( which that were true

  2. Bill Bueche

    Although it is not on a $4 list, members of Rite Aid’s RX Savings Program can receive a 30 day supply of simvastatin for $8.99. This price is accurate for up to 40mg tablets; I am unsure about the 80mg dose.

  3. Carolyn

    Simvastatin is on the generic plan at Kroger Pharmacy for $4/30 days or $10/90 days.

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