Q. I had a heart attack 10 years ago, when I was 62, and I have had several stents put in my arteries since then. My doctor has me on a bunch of medicine for blood pressure and heart: amlodipine 5 mg am and pm, hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg am, Toprol 25 mg pm, simvastatin 40 mg pm, isosorbide 10 mg am and pm and ticlopidine 250 mg am and pm. I’m weak and I hardly ever feel well any more. I am wondering if any of these drugs fight with each other.
A. In June, the FDA advised doctors to avoid prescribing more than 20 mg of simvastatin together with the blood pressure drug amlodipine. This combination makes muscle pain and weakness more likely.
Please get in touch with your doctor to find out if your dose of simvastatin can be adjusted, or if there is a different cholesterol-lowering drug that would be appropriate for you. Anyone taking simvastatin to lower cholesterol should check with a pharmacist about possible drug interactions with other medicines. The dose of simvastatin must be limited for people taking amiodarone, diltiazem, ranolazine and verapamil.