Is Simvastatin the cholesterol lowering drug for you?
Cholesterol is a household word today! You will find, at least one person in the room having elevated cholesterol levels. The fast-paced life, sedentary lifestyle and increased stress levels are to be held responsible for the rapidly growing cholesterol levels in people. Of course, there are many other factors like family history, eating habits, and lack of exercise that contribute too!
So, what is elevated cholesterol?
Cholesterol is made naturally by the body. It is a waxy fat like substance found in all the cells in our body. It is also present in the food we eat. Foods that have high cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats increase the levels of cholesterol in your blood. Sometimes high cholesterol levels are inherited from someone in the immediate family. The condition of elevated cholesterol is called hyperlipidemia.
Why is hyperlipidemia a disorder?
Hyperlipidemia causes excess fat deposition in the blood vessels. Repeated deposition of this causes the blood vessels to narrow down, or it may result in complete blockage of the blood vessel. This blockage of blood vessels or arteries leads to heart problems like angina, heart attack, or stroke.
That is a life-threatening situation, so, it is crucial to keep cholesterol levels in check.
High cholesterol does not have any symptoms as such, hence knowing the cholesterol levels is the place to start. Simple health check-ups and basic tests help you know your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is divided broadly into HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol.
HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) is also called good cholesterol. It means the body requires it. These levels should be at a mark or higher.
Over 60 mg/dL (optimal levels)
40 to 60 mg/dL (good levels)
Below 40 mg/dL (low levels)
LDL (Low-density Lipoproteins) is also known as bad cholesterol. The aim is to keep this bad cholesterol under control.
Under 100 mg/dL (optimal levels)
100 to 129 mg/dL (borderline high levels)
130 to 159 mg/dL (mildly high)
160 to 189 mg/dL (high)
190 mg/dL or above (very high)
Doctors recommend lifestyle changes, diet plans, and exercise depending on your test results. If the cholesterol levels are high or very high, the doctor may start the statin treatment. Simvastatin is a popular statin used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia.
What is Simvastatin?
Simvastatin belongs to a class of medicines called statins that lower the cholesterol in the blood. It is prescribed to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and increase the amount of HDL or good cholesterol in the blood.
The primary mode of action is to lower the production of cholesterol in the liver to decrease the amount of cholesterol that accumulates on the walls of arteries. That helps to improve the levels of cholesterol in the blood. That leads to a reduced risk of heart attack or stroke.
It is usually prescribed in addition to lifestyle modifications and diet plans.
When is Simvastatin given?
Simvastatin is prescribed for the following conditions
Treatment of high cholesterol?
Lower the risk of heart complications
Prevention of heart attack
Prevention of stroke
Lower complications in diabetic people
Lower complications in people at a cardiovascular risk
How is Simvastatin available?
All statins are available in the market and sold under various brand names from popular pharmaceutical companies. Simvastatin is available in 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, and 80mg tablet forms. It is also available in liquid form (75ml of 4mg/ml).
Popular brand names for Simvastatin
Simlo(Ipca Laboratories Ltd)
Simvas(Micro Labs )
G Sim (GR Healthcare Laboratories)
How to take Simvastatin?
The dosage of Simvastatin, is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking.
Simvastatin is generally taken once a day. It is preferably taken in the evening after dinner?
It should be taken orally as directed by your doctor.
It should be consumed once daily in the evening.
If you are using the tablet form of this medication, you may take this medication with or without food as suggested by your doctor.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, take this medication on an empty stomach.
Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. It might lead to an increased risk of severe side effects.
Never stop taking it unless advised by your doctor
Did you miss your dose? Take it as you remember. If it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, do not take it.
Never double the dose to make up for the missed dose.
Precautions Before taking Simvastatin
Avoid grapefruit products as Simvastatin has been shown to interact with them, resulting in unwanted side effects.
Avoid eating foods rich in cholesterol. Simvastatin may show its effectiveness if a low-cholesterol diet plan is not followed.
Avoid drinking Alcohol.
All medicines interact with the foods you consume and the medicines you take.
Before taking Simvastatin, inform your doctor about :
Your medical history
Allergies you may have
Active liver disease
If you have had any recent surgeries
If you are pregnant
If you are breast-feeding
If you have a thyroid disorder
You are diabetic
You have a history of kidney diseases
Side effects of Simvastatin
Every drug has an undesirable effect, although it may lead to improvement in the aliment.
Simvastatin also has a few adverse effects.
Some adverse reactions to Simvastatin are
Allergic reactions such as
Sensitivity to sun
Some common side effects are
It may worsen Diabetes
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection,
Muscle Problems Like Muscle Pain/Tenderness/Weakness
Sign Of Kidney and Liver Problems
Yellowing of the skin and eyes
In some rare cases, high doses of Simvastatin can cause memory loss and severe joint pain.
It is important to tell your doctor about any side effects, you may experience. Simvastatin is found to have some side effects when taken with certain other drugs too. The doctor can alter the dose or change the medicine as per the requirement.
How to know if Simvastatin is the correct drug for you?
Hyperlipidemia is a condition where treatment is a must. It can be a life-threatening situation if the required treatment is not in place.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you get the most effective treatment and you are on the path to better health? Well, it is now possible, to get the exact treatment your body needs.
Genetic testing has made this revolution possible.
Genes impact the metabolism of the medicines you consume.?
Every person has a unique set of genes and hence the response to the drug also varies from person to person. Genetic testing tells you which drug is meant for you.
How to get this genetic testing done?
Indus Health Plus MEDNAwise genetic testing has you covered.
MEDNAwise is pharmacogenetic testing that can predict your genetic response to 70+ drugs used in various medical specialties. It also tells you if Simvastatin is the drug for you.?
The MEDNAwise test has made diagnosis and treatment efficient and effective. It helps doctors to find the right drugs for the patient at the right time for treatment and prevention. It is a no-hassle, simple spit-swab test. You can do it at your home and send it for testing. Based on the DNA, a detailed report is provided that tells you about your genetic risks and allows the doctors to plan and personalize your medications.
MEDNAwise is a cost-effective way to determine the exact treatment plan for a patient.
It is also beneficial in all future medical emergencies as the doctor would already be aware of the drugs that are the most effective for you.
Indus Health Plus also offers genetic counselling after the results. MEDNAwise: A valuable solution to all healthcare needs.
So, unlock your genetic pathways and save your time and money. Take that step towards a healthy life!