bottles of crestor lipitor and simvastatin cholesterol-lowering drugs

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.

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  1. Kathryn
    Tuscaloosa, AL

    In the past week I have started taking 5mg of a amlodipine besylate at bedtime. In adddition to this new prescription I have been taking 20 mg of Simvastatinfor quite some time. I called my pharmacist to ask about any interaction. He sounded super busy and said that since I only take 20 mg of the Simvastatin I should be fine and the only side effect would be muscle pain. I told him if for no other reason except for getting old, I already had muscular pain. How am I to tell the difference as to what is causing it?

    I read in one of your articles that the side effects could be more severe. Should I question our family doctor or let it go and hope for the best?

  2. Thomas W.

    I have had swelling of my ankles and hands and SEVERE KNEE PAIN from Amlodipine. Then a PA prescribed 20mg of Simvastatin, and 30 days later I was in the hospital with Rhabdomyolysis. They were talking about a knee replacement, and I don’t want to go through surgery, so I quit taking Amlodipine, and within a week I have 0 swelling and 0 knee pain. I read all of the side effects of everything that I take, and I am down to Valsartan only. It has side effects too. Medication is scary stuff. I question everything my Doctor says because I no longer trust or respect her opinion. Time to find a new one.

  3. chris w.

    I am a dialysis patient and trying to lose more fluid when dialysing as my lungs are filling up. My Consultant has asked me to dialyse more and drop my weight, problem is I have no kidneys and keep crashing on machine so have to turn UF off and stop taking any more fluid off. I am sure after reading several articles that thew drug simvastatin is the problem. I am not fat and follow a healthy diet so am unsure why I need to take it. My normal BP is 135/75, when dialysing it can drop to 70/30 and I must give saline then or I will crash.
    There have been occasions when I have stopped my simvastatin for a couple of days, my BP can then be 150/90 and I have only just realized this may be the problem. I am suffering with terrible pains in my back thighs etc. and over the past few weeks have almost every symptom that could be caused by the drug. My dosage is 40mg daily.
    If anyone out there wants to discuss this then get in touch/
    Chris W.

  4. Noah T.

    @BJD. From Joe & Terry here and other sources all seem to indicate any type of statin can cause debilitating legs weakness. “Sorry”.

  5. Paul43

    Thanks for the info & list from the FDA

  6. BJD

    Can Simvastatin cause acute leg muscle pain and breakdown of
    muscles in legs? My husband is now wheelchair bound because he
    can no longer walk because of muscle leg pain since he was placed
    on simvastatin and other drugs.

  7. BJames

    If taking only 5 mg amlodypine and now 10 mg, is it worth it? I was taking 20 mg Simvastatin, too, but took myself off last summer after over a year of taking both. Any harm, do you think?
    I have had swelling of feet and legs as well as the abdomen. Muscles in abdomen very soft/rubbery distended like a pregnant woman. Female age 68 here with some history of chest pain and shortness of breath noted in walking long distances.

  8. Rolen

    Keep me posted on this concern. I know lots of folks on statins. They do not keep up with info.

  9. JMH

    I can not understand why doctors put patients on meds for high cholesterol. I have been taking fish oil and red yeast rice twice a day after breakfast and dinner My cholesterol stays at about 180 and ldl at 80
    and hdl at 98. Triglycerides at 67. My ratio is 1.9 It is important to take after meals.

  10. DAN R.

    Anyone taking a statin drug should be aware that this drug can lower a person’s normal level of coenzyme Q-10 in their blood. This in turn can lead to irregular heart beats and even total heart failure. This happened to me a good many years ago when I was first put on Lipitor, but I was fortunate enough to tune in to The People’s Pharmacy one day when Dr. Sinatra was discussing statins and Q-10. I contacted him and discussed my symptoms, and he recommended that I take 100 mg of Q-10 once each day. My symptoms immediately disappeared, and I have been taking the supplement each day ever since.

  11. Noah T.

    Keep me posted on this concern. I know lots of folks on statins. They do not keep up with info.

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