Simvastatin and Alcohol

Many patients ask the following questions: Is it safe to take simvastatin and alcohol together? Does simvastatin interact with alcohol? What are the possible outcomes of simvastatin - alcohol interaction? We hope the information below helps you find the right answer. Simvastatin and AlcoholBefore prescribing simvastatin your doctor will ask you if you use alcohol frequently, have family history of alcohol abuse or was a heavy drinker in the past. These are not just routine questions.  Although simvastatin does not interact with alcohol directly, heavy use of alcohol may affect liver function which prevents proper uptake of the medication. Although taking simvastatin and alcohol together is not strictly prohibited and moderate intake of alcohol during simvastatin treatment does not cause problems in most patients, it is generally recommended to avoid alcohol while on simvastatin. The reasons:

  • Alcohol can increase triglyceride which can produce a number of negative effects on the body
  • Alcohol increases the risk of liver damage. Impaired liver function prevents proper uptake of simvastatin and results in increased levels of the medication in the blood and higher risk of developing simvastatin side effects.
  • Alcohol + simvastatin combination increases the risk of kidney function impairment

Patients who are about to start taking simvastatin tablets should tell their doctor about frequent use of alcohol. In addition, people with liver diseases or liver impairment caused by alcohol are recommended to take simvastatin with caution and need additional liver function monitoring during the whole treatment course.

What’s the admissible amount of alcohol while on simvastatin?

You should discuss this with you healthcare provider! This is very individual. Safe alcohol amount is defined based on you current liver and kidney state, gender, weight and many other health parameters. You may need to do a number of additional tests to determine safe alcohol intake. As a rule, 5-7 drinks a week are considered to be safe. Remember that patients are recommended not to take simvastatin tablets and alcohol together. If you want to minimize the risk of simvastatin side effects, alcohol should be avoided.

Scientific Notes on Simvastatin and Alcohol:

In 2003 the effect of simultaneous simvastatin - alcohol consumption was studied on rats. The results of this specific study didn’t show any negative impact on the body from simvastatin taken with moderate doses of alcohol. (Kolovou GD, Mikhailidis DP, Daskalova DC, Kafaltis N, Adamopoulou EN, Malakos J, Bilianou HG, Theocharis SE, Pilatis ND, Mykoniatis MG, Cokkinos DV., Cardiology Department, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, 356 Sygrou Ave, 176 74 Athens, Greece).