Simvastatin Side Effects - Muscle Pain

Simvastatin side effects and muscle pain go hand in hand. Although most patients tolerate the medication well and do not develop any of simvastatin side effects, muscle pain is reported to be one of the most frequent side effects of statin medications experienced by patients. Muscle pain is most common in people who only start simvastatin treatment, take simvastatin for the first time or those who took an increased dose. Your should expect your doctor to warn you about this side effect while prescribing simvastatin.  While on simvastatin one may experience muscle pain in different ways:  the intensity of the soreness also varies ranging from mild discomfort up the severe pain that forces you to stop all your daily activities. Other simvastatin related muscle symptoms include: muscle cramps or spasms, muscle weakness or tenderness.

What should I remember about simvastatin side effects and muscle pain?

Muscle pain is a side effect that requires immediate attention of your doctor, especially if you have a fever. Contact your doctor immediately if you have muscle pain while on simvastatin and get a recommendations on further actions.  If muscle pain becomes continuous or causes significant discomfort  that affects your daily activities your doctor may recommend to decrease simvastatin dose or switch you to another statin medication. Never ignore the muscle symptoms or relieve the muscle pain by the means of pain relievers, talk to your healthcare provider before you take any steps.

Why Does Simvastatin Cause Muscle Pain?

While in most cases simvastatin-induced muscle pain itself is nothing but a discomfort,  it may be a symptom of muscle tissue damage and developing such diseases as myopathy and rhabdomyolysis, both of which may cause severe muscle pain and are a real treat to a patient’s life. Rhabdomyolysis is a degenerative muscle tissue condition that may cause liver problems, kidney damage or heart failure leading to death.  The risk of Rhabdomyolysis significantly increases when simvastatin is taken together with other drugs or after overdosing.  Recent studies show that muscle damage occurs because simvastatin activates the gene atrogin-1 gene playing a key role in muscle atrophy and impairment of muscle fiber. In fact, muscle problems are a #1 cause of simvastatin lawsuits.

Although such severe conditions occur in less than 0.1 percent of patients taking simvastatin, you can never be too cautious about any muscle symptoms while on simvastatin.

How to minimize the risk of simvastatin side effects, muscle pain and muscle tissue damage

Assuming that you won’t experience any of simvastatin side effects is not wise. Listen to your body carefully and react immediately in case of any suspicious symptoms.

It is critically important to tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you take while being prescribed simvastatin and ask for a list of medications that may interact with simvastatin causing muscle problems. Grapefruit juice and grapefruit products should also be avoided during simvastatin treatment because they increase the chance of developing muscle pain.

Don’t take any steps on your own, always contact your doctor first.

You should and always exactly follow the doctor’s instructions while taking simvastatin in order to prevent muscle pain and other statin side effects.