The People's Perspective on Medicine

FDA Warns about Simvastatin Side Effects

The FDA has just issued a warning about simvastatin side effects. The agency is concerned about muscle damage linked to high doses of this medicine.
Statins, Statin pills and a warning sign,

Q. I’ve been on simvastatin (80 mg) for several years. I’ve had serious problems with leg cramps and now my tendons are affected from my toes to my knees. Could the medication be responsible?

A. The FDA has just issued a warning about simvastatin (Zocor). The agency is concerned about muscle damage linked to high doses (80 mg) of this cholesterol-lowering medicine. Doctors are not supposed to prescribe this dose to new patients. Only people who have not experienced muscle problems after taking it for a year should continue on the 80 mg dose.

Even lower doses may cause simvastatin side effects. One reader shared his story:

“I was started on simvastatin 20 mg, and by the third week I was in a lot of pain. My triceps and biceps hurt the worst, as though someone was ripping the muscles apart. I also had pain in my hips, legs and shoulders.”I stopped the simvastatin, but my blood tests showed elevated CPK (muscle breakdown) and decreased GFR (kidney functioning). Six months later, the labs show my GFR is normal, but my CPK is still mildly elevated. When I try to exercise, my muscles get sore quickly and the soreness lasts longer.”

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    About the Author
    Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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    I just googled side effects of zoo run because I’ve been having issues.

    I’ve been taking zocor now for at least 10 years. I am taking 40mg.
    As of late I’m having leg cramps and my leg and arm muscles are deteriorating. I’m 58 and my legs are loosing so much muscle I look like a old woman.
    I have been reading the comments from others and am shocked at all the same symptoms I’m having.
    Last month my pharmacy called me asking how I was doing with my Zicor, I thought that was odd. I’m calling my doctor tomorrow.

    I’ve been taking simvistatin 20mg for 5years. My breathing has gone from normal, being able to hunt, fish, and camp to having difficulty breathing. I have asthma, and this makes my breathing much more difficult so I quit taking simvastatin, and breathing has steadily improved. I will talk to my doctor about an alternative medicine or NATURAL meds. My cholesterol is not crazy high, and I’ve gained weight and can’t lose no matter what I try. BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT TAKING THIS MEDICATION OR ANY STATINS.

    Any cholesterol lowering drug is a major no no as far as I’m concerned. That’s my opinion, folks.
    When my doctor prescribed one to me, I took it for 2 days after I read it causes memory loss.
    I took that container of the drug and fed it to my garbage can.
    Yes. My garbage can. 😀

    Interesting to read the comments of other users. I have been taking it since having a heart attack 18 years ago [which was also related to long-time use of HRT!] Cholesterol level now down to 3+, from 6+. I eat a good healthy diet & am a very active person, but over the last 8 or 9 months I have suffered extreme tiredness, muscles cramp & bloating.
    Doctors tend to put you on drugs but don’t seem to review them further down the track, so long-term use could cause side effects [which Doctors also never tell you about!] & other problems.

    I have been taking Simvastatin for 6months and have started to experience severe muscle pain in my legs. I now experience pain when exercising pain when walking and relaxing. I have stopped taking the medication in hopes that the pain will stop and there are no damage to my muscles.

    My husband has been 20 mg for about a month now and hasn’t felt good since shortly after he started taking it. Same symptoms as below, ach, pain muscle soreness and flue like symptoms. Stopped taking it now and hope he feels better soon.

    I had been on 10 mg. Zocor for preventive purposes only. All my Cholesterol levels were within normal limits. During that time, I had no side effects.
    However, approximately three or four months ago, I began having leg aches, worse at night. I was told I had tight calf muscles and I should do specific exercises for this. The muscle aches still continued, causing sleepless nights. I massaged them, and took Tylenol (for sleep) . Eventually, I began taking Magnesium at breakfast and bedtime. Things initially improved, but eventually, the aches returned, this time worse. I discontinued the Zocor and the next day, my legs were not aching, and have not ached since. I informed my doctor of this, thinking he might put me on another statin, but he said, “I’m not worried about your cholesterol- you have no heart disease”. I’m still ache-free and enjoying restful nights. I continue to take the Magnesium as I also take diuretics.

    I was taking 40 mg of simvastatin. Within in 2 weeks and I was not taking it everyday, I started experiencing fever, tiredness, soreness and numbness in my arms while I slept. I have stop taking it now.

    I went on Simvastatin a couple of years ago – 20mg…my LDL was 160 and at the time was considered borderline. I took the drug for 4 months and went in for a blood test. My LDL was reduced to 75. My doctor was suspicious of muscle aches and other side effects of the drug but I had none in four months nor the rest of the year. The following year I went in for my annual, and my LDL was at 110. I was always in pretty good shape–working out, good diet,lots of exercise. So this year I went in for my annual, and my LDL was reduced to 58!!!! The only thing I changed this year was that I went off of coffee and also went off of all sweetness. I was using lots of Stevia. The Stevia I used was not pure Stevia. There was an additive in the product which, when researching, found out that it stayed in one’s system. It was cumulative and could be harmful so I stopped Stevia and any other type of artificial sweetener. I started using honey for hot and cold tea and maple syrup on hot cereals. Coffee was getting in the way of digesting my food. Don’t know if that was the cause for the decrease in my LDL. I have had no leg cramps, headaches, etc., associated with a Statin.

    My doctor asked me this time if I had any problems with muscle aches, etc., and I said no. He suggested I go off Simvastatin for 4 months and take another blood test. I decided to stay on the Statin for now, may do so for the rest of the year until my next checkup and see what happens in the interim, like any changes in muscles, etc. If LDL stays pretty low I may go off of Statin next year and see what happens.

    I have been taking simvastatin for about 6 months now and am very weak and have trouble walking and functioning and am only on 20 mg also feeling very weak and tired.

    I am on symvastatine because I have had mini strokes in the past.
    I am nearly 82 .I am up at 5/30 because I twist & turn all night long .I would love to have a good nights sleep.I also take a cramp pill,but am now wondering if cramp was a result of taking the cholesterol tablet.

    I will contact my Doctor & see if I can take the cholesterol pill in the morning instead.

    I was started on 80 mg of lipitor and plavix after seeing a stroke specialist this past summer. After two months, all I wanted to do was sleep. I also took CoQ10 each day with the statins. I went off of statins after calling my doctor and he said “don’t think it’s the medicine but go off for a week to see for sure.” I didn’t contact him for three weeks and he said take 20 mg for week and then go back to the 80 mg. I told him I would try the 20 but was scared of anything higher. It was ok with 20 for two weeks (LDL was 55) and then flu-like symptoms started with back, neck, and chest aches along with extreme weakness and tiredness. After 5 days of thinking it was the flu, I stopped the statins and it took two more weeks before relief came. I expect I will gradually feel better and better as I’ve always had a lot of energy and exercised daily!! NO MORE STATINS… There’s something to be said for “quality of life”.

    Sixteen years ago my cholesterol was 300 and after taking Zocor I continued to have l69. Then my new Dr. said my cholesterol had risen to 200 and changed my med to Lipitor which caused me stomach problems. I stopped meds for four months and now that I am back on statins I have shoulder stiffness, hip and leg pains and stomach problems again. After reading this section I am determined to quit statins altogether.

    ‘Quality of life’- You’re the best one to judge if any health benefits are worth a decrease in life quality. I think you’ve done the right thing by discontinuing the statins.

    Is insomnia a problem with simvastatin??

    I have taken Simvastatin 20 mg for last 3 years. I started feeling pain on top of my feet which led to severe muscle spasms/ cramps lasting for several minutes. I had to lie down as I was sweating profusely and passing out if I got up. Recently I have attended a Neurologist for increased pain in both feet , tingling/ pins & needles in both hands and feet. My left big toe is swollen and becomes very red and then turn white. My neurologist advised me terminating Statins for one complete month. I had been on and off them over past 3 years as something kept telling me they were the culprit. However my GP encouraged me increase from 10 mg to 20 mg as my LDL cholesterol was over 8. I am definitely going off them for good as I have noticed breathing difficulties and extreme fatigue even with Coq10 supplementation. At times my head is spinning and I am totally exhausted after any long walk or exercise class which I used to tolerate very well.

    My husband has been on Simvastatin for years. He coughs all the time he is awake. It is very nerve-wracking but don’t know what to do. Has anyone else had this problem?

    I HAVE been on simvistatan for 4years, have COPD. Still used to hunt fish but breathing got so bad in last 5 months that I can’t take a deep breath. I quit taking Simvastatin, and breathing is improving.

    My husband has been taking siva stating for years. He coughs all the time that he is awake. When he gets on the phone it gets worse. He has had this cough for several years and it is very nerve-wracking. Does anyone else have this problem.

    After two years of Simvastatin I developed great pressure of the ears and several months later vertigo and then tinnitus. Are there others with a similar result etc?

    Sorry spell check changed it. Simvastation.

    I have been on Simvastatin for almost two weeks. Waking up in the middle of the night with calf cramps, dry mouth, feeling bloated, nose blocked at night. My cl level was just under 200 and I am very active. I am stopping the Simvastatin now and not taking it again. Age 65. It is all about money for the drug company.

    I was put on Simvastatin after having a heart attack. I have been in so much pain over the last 4 years I went from being an active Mom of 5 to a crippled old lady that walks with a cane. The joint and muscle pain is excruciating!!! After 4 years , and many trips to physical therapy, my Doctor has finally decided it could be the meds that’s causing my pain. 4 years lost to horrible pain and suffering!! The damage is done and as many others the pain continues. Someone should be held responsible. If anyone out there considers a lawsuit I’m in!!!!!

    I can’ remember when i was put on semvastatins, but i was put on blood pressure meds in the early 80’s. I may have been put on this med back then in low dosages for a prevenative disease due to family history of heart problems which I told them.
    I am now 69 years old and quit my statin intake 3 months ago against my doctors wishes, she went along with me though as i said I never had a high cholesterol level and my hdl to ldl was fine all these years. I studied why my life went down hill so fast the last 3 year to almost an invalid.
    Due To my problems I thought I had nerve damage due to Myasthemia Gravis. I had no energy, no metabolism whatsoever, body cramps, bloating, overweight 270#, muscle degeneration to the extreme. I am afraid I will get a heart attack just trying to get out of bed, I feel like 600#.
    I found CO Q-10 and studied it. I am now on a 1000-1200 cal diet high in fiber and vitamins. I pray that I can stick this out for a couple of months to find results. Ed

    I am reading this because that I am so worried.Frankly,I have never felt so rotten in all my life.Ihave been on a 20mg dose of Simvastatin for a number of years and have had similar problems as those people on this site.The latest problem was that I had terrible pains in my back and ended up not being able to walk at all, for a week.This is now three weeks later and I still have pains in my back and legs and arms.I also recently had to be sent to hospital with quite severe breathing problems.My stomach is so sore and bloated and I cant get any proper sleep.I am seriously considering stopping these awful tablets.

    In 1998 I started taking statins. Immediately started having leg cramps terrible at night. Told Dr and she started trying another and another and another. When I started taking Zetia my cholesterol count got better but not satisfying the Dr. so she put me on Vytorin. That’s when everything went wrong.

    Up until now all the statins caused some problem of some kind. On Vytorin I started dropping things, couldn’t open a jar, equilibrium was off and much more. Years up to statins I owned and operated my own business for 45+ years, I walked 2 miles a day…7 days a week. It got so I couldn’t walk to the mailbox without pain in my thighs. I couldn’t bowl anymore as I feared I would fall AGAIN. I refused to take anything and tried to change my diet.

    In 2006 I moved to FL (retired) New Dr. tried to put me on statins. I refused and explained why. Her comment….” Well, at your age (68 ) we won’t worry about it and it isn’t that high anyway!!!” Why are they pushing statins on us???

    Since then I have had a pacemaker put in… Afib, Problems with my eyes, macular hole, cataracts, problems with balance, using a walker. My toes won’t bend, I can’t stand on my tippy toes. One foot has shrunk, have no muscles in my feet. Have to get shoes like Birks with front straps to hold them on. I have started falling again, if I turn quickly I will fall over.

    Statins have ruined the rest of my life. Before the statins I had stage 3 Uterine Cancer. I am now 19 yrs cancer free, I’ve been told I beat the odds. Sad isn’t it that a pill could ruin the “bonus” time I had on earth. Think before you take statins my friends….

    I had a mini- stroke the doctors could understand why. I believe is was due to the Simvastatin. I was dizziness everyday. Heart Palpitations every morning I took this medication. I one day decides not to take it I called my physician in explained I was having these heart palpitations . I would hope someone can tell me , if they were having any of these problems. The day I didn’t take the medication I felt better. A little confused and dizziness. This may be due to the Mini-Stroke. Now ! Causing the dizziness…

    I have been on simvistatan for 4years and have COPD. I used to hunt and fish but my breathing got so bad in last 5 months that I can’t take a deep breath. I quit taking simvastatin, and breathing is improving.

    My doctor put me on Simvastatin a couple of years ago and I started having muscle problems with my legs. I still have the leg pain in my muscle and have trouble walking without pain. Also this wakes me up at night and I have had muscle cramps all down my leg very severe. I stopped taking the medication as soon as I read that statins can cause muscle problems. However, I am still having the problems. Wish I would never taken this medication. I never had these problems before taking the Simvastatin drug. bk

    I was having the same problem, heart palpatations very scary. I have stopped completely with the simvastatin. It is a killer! I am still having slight problems even having being off for 4 days. I will never take it again.

    my leg is hurting a little now but for a couple of days now pain in the back of knee area but this is not first time I have had about ten to a lot of leg ultra sounds on my legs could not find nothing wrong but now due my bros misery in the hospital for 4wks due to muscles and can’t find out what has cause it but took him off of simavation so take heed find out about ur meds for sure.

    I was prescribed Simvastatin (Zocor) (20m) and after a week on it, I have muscle aches, Neck stiffness, my joins ache, I have chills, stomach cramps, I feel dizzy and disoriented. I can’t afford Lipitor which seems to work best for me. I called my Dr. and he is prescribing a lower doze, I will give it a try, my total cholesterol is 286 DHL 198;Non-DHL222.

    My HDL, LDl, and Triglycerides and all bloodlabs, & A1C have been normal for the past 2 years, I forgot to take Simvastatin for about a week; decided to see if I could stop using it. Two months later blood tests revealed that I needed to go back on it (20 mg):
    Total Cholesterol 269 (normal 125-200 mg/dl)
    HDL. 80. (Normal. > = 46 mg/dl)
    Cholesterol/HDL Ratio 3.4. (Normal < 5.0)
    LDL Calculated. 166. (Normal < 130 mg/dl)
    Triglycerides. 113. (Normal 150 mg/dl)
    Non HDL Cholesterol. 189. mg/dl (Target is 30 mg/dl higher
    than LDL cholesterol target)
    It would seem to me that there should be some natural alternatives that could be used whose dosage could be constant and reliable. Does anyone know of any naturopathic substitute for Simvastatin?

    I was prescribed Simvastatin over the last few years and finally started taking it regularly. I was wondering if others have noticed increased mood swings, short temper, AND LOW SEX DRIVE. This concerns me as a 45 year old male

    I stopped worrying about the whole erectile business as I hurt all over but especially in my back and hands. Off this crap for 2 weeks now and other than some residual pain in the morning I feel years younger than my current 47 years.

    I took simvastatin for about 7 years . And recently I started developing severe muscle cramps in both legs I stopped taking this medicine about 2 weeks and I noticed a swelling in my upper right thigh I am in a lot of pain . Can anybody have answers and can we sue thee fda for keeping this product on thee market.

    I am relieved that I have found this website peoples pharmacy. I had my annual checkup with my doctor, was told my cholesterol was 270. My doctor said, it should be under 200, I was told to take Simvastatin.

    I have taken it for three weeks, I had noticed soreness in my muscles. Today and yesterday I have had extreme pain in my back, elbows, hip, leg, shoulder especially in triceps and biceps.

    The pain was so extreme, I laid in bed trying not to move since moving made pain more intense. I will not be taking any more of these simvastatin tablets again.

    Suffered a CVA stroke with no lasting effects, put me on 1 325MG aspirin morning and Zoco 40mg at night for 4 months. Have had shoulder pain for 1 week, just got over a 2 day spell with back pain, and I am literally fatigued so bad all I want to do is sleep. Not me at all, just wondering why I am even on this crap as my LDL was 139, HDL 55 and Triglycerides 192. I think I am going to stop taking this and see if my energy level increases. Fish oil and flax seed for me!!!

    I was having sever thigh and muscle pain. For about a year it has gotten to the point where if I sit down getting up is like pulling teeth. I recently lost control over my knee and I have been back and forth to doctors not to mention spending money on walkers an crutches. For some reason I kNew it had to be the Zocor. I would take my blood pressure pills and I knee that the loss of fluids could cause cramping. So I started taking lower doses. That didn’t help. Last night I thought my muscles in my leg were ripping. I was paralyzed for 5-8 mins. I prayed myself out of this pain. I decided to look into my Cholesterol medicine. This site came up. I’m will not be taking this medicine anymore. I will go natural for my healing.

    Bonnie I started taking the same medicine I swell legs, hurt back makes me sleep all day gain weight it’s not a good feeling on way to my doctor now.

    My Doctor insists I take Simvastatin, but I don’t like all these side effects! What to do? What to do?

    Ask for something else. Research it.

    I have been reduced from 40 to 20 I started tonight. I am awake at 3am now with pain again in my legs and hips. I am 53 yrs old.

    40 mg of Atorvastatin was giving me bad pain in muscles and joints. I cut down the dosage to 20 mg and still had pain, severe enough to wake me in the middle of the night. I could only go back to sleep after taking strong pain killers. This was no way to live! Other symptoms were memory problems, nosebleeds, fatigue, mood swings, low sex drive.

    I stopped taking Atorvastatin completely 3 months ago, the worst pain was gone quickly (a few days), could sleep through the night. There is still some minor pain when I walk.
    I will NEVER take statins again!

    I have yet to find a study that proves that lowering cholesterol prevents heart attacks and strokes.
    I bet the “science” behind pushing statins on us would change overnight, if the federal government imposed special “public welfare tax” on profits from the sale of statins.

    An alternative to statins is Niacin- it works just as well or better with no nasty side effects.
    If you do opt for statins, all statins should be taken with co-enzyme Q 10 and also magnesium.
    Note: Cholesterol is not the problem.

    Wow wondering why I was having muscle spasms all over mainly in the shoulders and arms I could feel the trembles and I could feel heat all over my muscles. My doctor prescribe the medicine a new doctor I started seeing he warned about the organ damage and said in a month need a blood test. Well Dec 31st I ended up at the ER they said muscle spasms well I followed up with my doctor and told him off the muscle spasms and told them they were so bad I was down for 2 days with dizziness then the ER gave me muscle relaxers he said those can be additive. All this time I thought I was falling apart not even a month on this medicine. Well I was getting a physical for my new job I had to report all medicines he saw the muscle relaxer and the cholesterol medicine that’s when that doctor told me about this so I hope I get to feeling better cuz I still hurt all over now because of the cholesterol med s I had to get a muscle relaxer now I have to wait on my new employer to ok it even though I am not taking it after today. Why did I have to hear about this from another doctor?

    I have taken statins now for 18 years. I take them at walmart pharmacy for only 4 dollars a month. I take now semivastatin ant can I tell you that in 2014 they finally have caught up with me. My doctor I called and said I was going off of them my cholestrol went from 139 to 232. I had a independent lab do a test on my cholestrol and it went to 253. I called and got back on them at low dose(10mg) last time I went to doctor my cholestrol was 175
    my mind is being drained of something though. I feel light headed all the time. I’m in a catch 22 situation. Either I get and keep cholestrol down or have a heart attack if I quit taken them.

    Since the US government finally admitted cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, after 50 years of promoting the drug companies party line, you might rethink why you are taking this.

    Also I am taking 10 mg of zolpidem at bedtime for a sleep aide. I have seen the paperwork that comes with it, that it can cause memory loss is that true? My memory loss is short term stuff. some days are better then others. thanks

    I have been on 20 mg of simvastatin for several years and here lately my leg muscles are painful and a lot weaker and can’t walk as much anymore without pain. Could this medication be the cause? Thanks

    Although there could be several different causes of your muscle problem, the statin is certainly one possibility. You should discuss this with your physician.

    I am 80 year old female. I think I have pretty good health. Only meds I have taken since a child is thyroxin for low thyroid. However, I had a blood test last month and cholesterol was 304 and so Dr. put me on 40 mg simvastatin. I didn’t want to do it as years ago I took Lipitor and suffered cramps and got off of it. Anyway, after just five days I had pain in lower left leg and cramps in upper tendons. I have always had night cramps in feet but this was different. It was hard to walk and made me listless. I know my body. There is no bad heart history in my family, no strokes etc. I would rather take a chance and keep eating right than feel this misery. So after 7 days of the meds, today I decided to stop taking it. I don’t think Doctors know my body as well as I do.

    My husband has been on simvastatin for two years 40mg he is 68 years old and his symptoms started a year ago, with him having hardly any muscle strength in his arms.

    Then about two months ago his wrists started swelling and he hardly could move them and started having leg cramps. He went from being able to Garden and Fishing and things he loved to do, to not being able to hardly do anything. He saw his GP yesterday and he told him to stop taking simvastatin, that he is pretty sure that is what is causing all of his problems, his Doctor also is doing a lot of blood test on my husband as well. I just hope and pray that my husband gets better, it just breaks my heart that I didn’t research this medicine when he first started taking it.

    Or eat a banana a day.

    Take potassium, I bought it at walmart 598 mg once a day, it works wonders.

    I was taking a Statin and I had horrible cramps and leg pain. I stopped taking the Statin last week because my cpk levels were very high. I also have needles or tingles in my legs and even my arms. Will the pain and the needles every go away and is this normal?

    I have been taking 20MG of Simvastatin for three to five years. I have also been fighting swelling of my feet for a similar time. Various doctors had suggested fusing all the foot bones, foot braces, 5 mg Prednisone. I refused the fusing, the other were of limited relief for a few months.
    Elevating the foot of the bed has helped reduce the swelling at the start of the day, but the foot has become very sensitive. I have been doing this for about two weeks. The swelling returns as the day progresses.
    Have you had complaints of Simvastatin causing foot swelling? Do you have any similar complaints of swelling? (age 87)

    Since July 2012. I was prescribed both Simvastatin and Ramipril by a cardiac consultant at the Hospital following a heart event which maybe was a heart attack. Certainly was a minor heart event brought on by exercise.
    But to look at the effects of Simvastatin/Ramipril on my health problems, we need to look at what I had for years-A) Hip pain which could be in part alleviated by ITB specific exercises/strengthening work and B) mild sore throats which would make one think you had a virus coming on but in fact no virus would develop.
    I had such a sore throat when prescribed and miraculously cleared up. Because I have temporarily given up both tabs for a short time I pretty much know which is responsible (at least in my own mind).
    After giving up a simvastatin tablet for even 1 day I get a sore throat back. After giving up Ramipril for a week I had the hip pain back and not only that had massive problems in a 100M cycle time trial. Developing ITB/hip pain in it and nausea problems at a much earlier time. Lucky to get round at all and the last 10M I slowed deliberately and the stomach cleared up. But after I finished I had to rest for about 10 minutes after having the GTN spray. And wasn’t too bad.
    So Simvastatin cures the throat and Ramipril cures hip pain. I was interested in your comment about the immune system but wasn’t too able to find out much on the net. A lot of studies don’t seem to be able to be accessed without paying a substantial fee(science direct). But I did see one reprehensible study on mice which actually were given a bad inflammation and just before were given a massive amount of Simvastatin(100 MG/Kg of weight) and it helped those mice substantially. But my take on this is that the body is doing this with the help of the drug rather that Simvastatin is an anti-inflammatory. But hell, I could be wrong.
    So without these drugs I would be in a problem especially in the winter, and I don’t mean a winter where you get sub-zero temps (centigrade I’m talking about) but where it goes lower than 7C daytime on a regular basis with rain often. And also be in trouble when taking what most people would consider cycling which would be beyond them in terms of speed and duration. Not that it is!
    I could also give instances where I have missed a Simvastatin tablet (just because I left it at home while spending the night away), did a short time trial and had to have the week off with severe breathing problems. So one of the GP’s sad it was preventative but in my case, he was wrong. It is being used as such for a lot of people but I actually need it. I may not need it in Florida but I do here.
    Turning into a long post but I have noticed ads while I am in America and I blame the system of health on that. But there aren’t many ads here for drugs. For a long time those ads were not allowed by law but that has been relaxed now. But healthcare via a GP/Hospital doesn’t cost hardly anything so there is no point in ads for prescription items. So ads would be concentrated on targeting docs I guess. The only cost we have here is a prescription charge which because I have quite a few I pay per month (£10.40 per month or $17.70 at current exchange rates). Otherwise it could mount up(£7.20 per prescription item.) So here it’s not such a money issue at least for the general population.

    I ended up going to a nephrologist due to my Kidney filtration (GFR) dropping lower and lower in every blood test I had after taking 20 mg simvastatin. The doctor still says oh kidney problem is NOT a side effect, well my blood work says otherwise and I stopped it. My GFR dropped out of normal range to a low of 46 which indicated state 3 kidney disease?? It also made my arms and hands burn and made me feel like I just was not there… I am due for detailed blood work at the end of this month and I will not go back on a statin no matter how high my cholesterol is. My kidney function kept dropping every single blood test after starting the simvastatin, I do not need a doctors degree to realize what caused it but it seems my doctor still does not think that decreased kidney function is a side effect so never reported it as such.

    Peter, taking 40 mg Daily, you have my sympathy, just curious, how long? familiar w/ the effects on the Immune System? If not I suggest you check it out. Diet & exercise, avoiding illness is Drug mnftrs. worst enemy $$$$ in some cases Drs. too. No Patients = No sales or visits, just like fast food companies. It’s called “FREE ENTERPRISE.” I sit here as the TV plays endless commercials regarding Rx Drugs. MONEY MONEY MONEY.

    Brooke… sometimes pharmacists know better what’s going on than the doc, although it wasn’t my doctor who told me to take COQ 10. Shortly after my second open heart surgery, a former boss called and said “Be sure to take COQ 10”. Maybe he was trying to do me in.
    You do have to be your own advocate.

    Yes this is interesting in the light of my conversation yesterday with my sister. I said that I have noticed that most of the complaints about side effects on here are people who are taking a small dose of statin such as 10 or 20 mg. There have been next to no complaints on patients who take 40 mg such as me. So, think that the problem is that the heart itself is responsible for not helping get rid of pain. So, the only answer is to put up the dose to 40mg.
    I have also noticed when I miss a dose, I have an irregular heartbeat and my HR at rest goes down. OK you don’t believe m e(nor does my GP), here is the evidence. Avg HR last week 51.86, missed tablet and it was 41 and later on a train 43 (so hardly resting and also had just done a hilly 18M cycle ride). Another time I had an irregular HR was by coincidence or not (I think not) after I last missed a tablet. On that occasion I had real trouble at work, had to rest frequently, and couldn’t walk upstairs without resting.
    Prior to taking the tablet my HR was often 37 or so. By the way, Jaw pain is often indicated and when I am suffering from the heart problem I often get chest pain and jaw pain and clicking in the jaw (sometimes going to the head as well). After taking aspirin, I find the jaw clicks a lot before the pain gets better. So, these are the signs of a heart event I know. So if you have jaw pain, its not a great shot in the dark to say a heart event could be imminent. When you do get this, I would eat carbs and have soluble aspirin- preferably a low dose, say 150mg. Food certainly helps in my case, I have also found no Simvasatin tablet means eating far more.

    I stopped Simvastatin 35 days ago after Chronic Post Herpetc Neuralgia brought on from Shingles (caused by a Weak Immune System / Statins). Now the Acyclovir is working as it should after 14 months of misery, better balance, memory, thought and retention along with interpretation .

    I had a friend start taking this medication on May 21. By June 21 she was falling down and couldn’t walk due to severe pain in her legs. This led to a 10 day hospitalization in which other meds were removed, but not this one. After the 10 days, she was released to come home, without anyone figuring out what might be wrong. They all blamed it on Neurophothy.
    After researching the meds when she got home, we were amazed at the timeline this one showed. She stopped the med on this past Friday, and today is Sunday. She says she has had the best day in a long time. She hasn’t had to take a pain pill since this morning, she has been out and about all day running errands. While she still can’t walk without a walker, and is still can’t drive, she is feeling better. We are hoping this will clear up and she can go back to work soon.

    You are right Joanne, sorry. My husband took coq10 and still had the muscle problems with statin so it doesn’t always protect- which some might assume. He was also only on 10 mg of Prevastatin

    My husband took Prevastatin , 10 mg along with with 200 mg of COQ10 for two years and had muscle pain, sweats and fatigue. His pain moved around his body, wrists, feet, left hip, jaw, right shoulder etc. He stopped taking Prevastatin and it took 2 weeks for his muscle pain to go away but it did. He had some jaw pain and wrist pain a few days ago but his MD said that may happen once in awhile. His MD has changed his diagnosis from polyrhematica to statin myalgia. He is back to his 25 mile bike rides. This can be misdiagnosed as polyrhumatica myalgia which gets better within a few days of taking low dose prednisone. The other difference is polyrhematica is worse in the am and it is on both sides of the body. It’s scary to think what might have happened to him if I hadn’t discovered this discussion! I found site and he went off of the statin and then his MD changed his mind and agreed that it was the statin. You have to be your own advocate. Thank you

    KB, after reading your post I sit here and wonder (how long has KB been taking it / simvastatin). I’ve been taking it for over 10 years and STOPPED June 26th. Of this year. I contracted Shingles 14 months ago, Drs. And I were assuming it would “take it’s usual course of approx. 90 days” (WAS I IN FOR A REAL SURPRISE).
    I had an outbreak above my eye, it continued further up onto the top of head. Acyclovir first Rx’d wasn’t helping (I also have Epilepsy) so they put me on Gabepentin 900mg 3 times daily along w/ phenytoin / primadone STILL NO LET UP OF AGONIZING PAIN, sleepless nights, tried GYM / exercise bike next to my bed, rode 5 miles daily, diet. Then started reading after Dr. suggesting NERVE BLOCK (No Thanks to that one) I assumed I had damage to the Mylein Nerve Sheath (cover of nerve / transmitters, synapse, receptor etc.).
    I “chalked it up “to another illness for life. But then while brushing my teeth I saw the 1 word on Listerine GERMS! and began experimenting being the Drs. Were too. Turns out my PA Rx’d an Anti-Biotic Ointment (that didn’t work) then after applying Calamine countless times for over 2 weeks still pain w/ slight bleeding, itching & burning, stinging, stabbing PAIN both outer and inner (deep and surface). I read that Herpes Zoster / Chicken Pox is a VIRUS.
    I went back to using the ANTI-VIRAL OINTMENT after stopping SIMVASTATIN approx. 30 days ago. Sure enough! IT DOESN’T INHIBIT THE ACTIVITIES / HEALING PROPERTIES OF ACYCLOVIR being it is NO LONGER IN MY BLOOD SYSTEM!. Plus my MEMORY / Stability and desire to continue LIVING is “Normal “AGAIN!. I’ve come to the conclusion that in my case the Drs. Only knew / know what they wanted to know or only what they were taught. Here it is me (an Idiot who quit High School in the 11th. Grade) was able to figure something out THEY Couldn’t. I can interpret STOCK CHARTS along w/ Fundamentals like my mind was when I was 25 years old and I’m 62, PATHETIC and SAD.
    I also read more about Statins, it seems the damage to the immune system makes life worse and shorter for a lot of peoples. I haven’t yet found out who was in charge @ the FDA in approving these things and where they work along w/ their STOCK PORTFOLIO is yet. Deep down inside I sense the “boy w/ the beard” and glasses could have been charge to get this stuff sold.

    I got off the Satin, took the red yeast rice and the cramp’s got worse, I kicked that to the side started taking potassium, 500 mg, and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey in 8 oz of water every day. I can stretch, curl my toe’s, and sleep on my stomach with a leg over a pillow with no problem’s now. I go back to the Dr in October to have my blood check but I didn’t realize how much I missed stretching almost forgot I could do it.

    Doing well on Simvastatin, just doing my check update on any neW side effects for Simvastatin…I just happened to read the very first story on this page…the man with the leg cramps..just a may not be the simvastatin, but could be the red yeast he said he’s taking…I had a friend who had also been taking red yeast…she spoke with her dr about going off it and when she did, her leg weakness & cramps went away almost immediately she said… within a week or less she could go walking again, even go to the grocery store on her own again with no pain whatsoever…may be worth a try….just because some people can use it for years with no problems…????????????

    I started Pravastatin only 10 days ago. My doctor prescribed 40 mg it as my cholesterol was 226 (I’m in my mid forties, exercise twice a week, in general terms I’m fit and healthy, well, except for the cholesterol level which doc said in my case is 100% genetic.)
    Anyways, this morning an excruciating muscle cramp in my calf woke me up. The pain was so intense that I screamed for help. I was alone, so I just tried to get out of bed and stand out thinking that would alleviate pain. What a mistake I made! I got so dizzy, my leg gave in and I fell down almost breaking my head when I hit it against a corner table, as a consequence, My forehead is sore with a purple bump the size of a golf ball and my leg?
    After 14 hours it still hurts… I’ve been limping all day long! No more Pravastatin or any other statin for me. I’ll start Fish Oil and increase my flax seed intake. Thanks for all info!

    Do not automatically assume or advise people to take COQ10!
    It depends upon what they are taking for a statin. Your pharmacist can tell you whether or not they are compatible.

    I was prescribed 10mg Simvastatin for what I believe is only mildly elevated cholesterol: 204 total, 140 LDL. This was after I went to the ER for chest pain that I was pretty sure was stress, got thoroughly checked out, they couldn’t find anything. I am also hypothyroid and have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
    I only took the pills twice. I woke up the first night with back pain around my kidney area that kept me awake, and then had diarrhea the next day. Took the second dose the following day and then felt like complete and utter crap—light headed, weak, upset stomach again, dry mouth, slight numbness in my extremities, and like my blood sugar levels kept dropping (my blood sugar was fine during the constant hospital monitoring).
    So I looked it up and found that this stuff can cause diabetes? (I had gestational diabetes, so my chances are already higher, as well as my other history of endocrine disorders, thankyouverymuch). I also found several sites that said this drug is NOT recommended for those with thyroid disorders.
    I’m pretty annoyed, actually. I think it’s pretty clear that in my case the risks don’t outweigh the benefits, but it makes me wonder if the doctors are really thoroughly considering the side effects and contraindications of this drug. Meanwhile I’m hoping it gets out of my system soon so I can stop feeling weak and nauseated.

    Try zinc. It stopped my husband’s cramps. One 50 mgs pill did it but I have read that you can take it a few times a week. They think that his statins have cause him to have polyrhematica but not sure yet. Make sure you take coq10!

    First thing, you are not old. I am 58 and believe me I’m not old. Perhaps its a state of mind. Second thing, Underactive thyroid is known to become a lot of sufferers to be depressed which in turn leads to inactivity which in turn leads to worse symptoms. And in the end you just sleep and eat and become even more lethargic. I was borderline underactive and believe me, the only remedy was to get out and do something even if its only walking. I know you only want to sleep and eat, but just to get out your front door will lead to lessening of symptoms. I used to suffer at weekends, but didn’t in the week at all. Why? Because I had to cycle to work and I was fine until I did nothing.
    I do wonder why you were on Simvastatin at all. I am on 40 mg and I am sure it has caused no side effects apart from shoulder pain initially. But that lasted only weeks. Can it cause depression, I hadn’t heard that and it is difficult to understand why unless it is causing people to be more inactive.

    I have been taking simvastatin 20mg for nearly two years. Since taking it I have been complaining of leg/feet/groin pains to my GP. Each of which were treated separately without ever considering simvastatin might be the culprit. I blamed my lethargy and aches and pains to my hypothyroidism.
    I am also suffering from memory loss and initially brushed it aside as old age (I am 57) but lately it’s got so bad that I have picked up leaflets on dementia and have been looking up info regarding such.
    Recently I feel so depressed that I have been crying all the time (totally unlike me) and have been considering seeing a councilor.
    Then I decided to look up to see if my drugs were inter-reacting and to look up the side effects of my medication.
    Reading the side effects of simvastatin has cleared the fog. I have changed my GP and stopped taking simvastatin and will see my NEW GP to discuss it.
    Wish me luck.

    Stretching, that’s the answer. Outside muscle of your left leg, where-between the hip and knee perhaps and is it tender if you hit it. This sounds like Illotibial band problems which can cause pain in both the knee and hip. Call me an idiot but it doesn’t have to be a statin that causes this. I had hip pain for years before a heart problem emerged. And now am largely pain free until last week when I tried dropping Ramipril and I paid the price in ITB pain and hip related pain. So, Ramipril can help and why is this. My theory-helps the heart do its job better.
    There are ITB strengthening exercises you can do in addition to specific stretches. But the best thing is to get a foam roller as well, which you lie on and roll on it funnily enough.
    Alieve (Naproxen) should never be given out by shops without a prescription. I don’t know what the U.S. authorities are doing letting this happen esp. when you can’t even get Ibuprofen Gel or Voltarol (Diclofenac Gel). Hope you are not taking Alieve on an empty stomach, ibuprofen should also never be taken on an empty stomach or Aspirin for that matter. Personally, I would never take any anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or Diclofenac or Naproxen at all. Perhaps I would take Diclofenac if a really bad pain but Ibuprofen, not worth the risk of ulcers considering it’s not that effective in my opinion.
    I am on Simvastatin and Ramipril and have no hip pain at the moment. Don’t even know what COQ 10 is, but I am in England so I would theorise it is expensive which means it couldn’t be offered. It would bankrupt the country given the doctors want to give statins out to the general population (over 50).

    Been on this for 5 years. Took CoQ 10 with it, and it seemed to help for a while (2 years 100mg). Now the cramp’s are terrible.
    They wake me in the middle of night, and all I can do is walk them off and drink water and take Alieve. Next day my muscles are so sore- groin of my right leg ,and the outside muscle of my left leg.
    I have a call into my Dr. Going to try something different.

    I have been using statins for approx 8yrs and I was getting muscle cramps or spasms approx. 4-5 times per month. A couple of years ago or maybe less, I started to rub 91% isopropyl alcohol on my calves, thighs or feet whenever I would wake up with the cramps or muscle spasms and I found that after applying the alcohol, the pain would subside in minutes sometimes less than one minute and I have been using this alcohol every since. Don’t know if it will work for everyone, but it most certainly works for me and I am sure that the pains are caused by the statins since I had never experienced muscle cramps or spasms before I started statin usage.. I am 74yrso.

    I was on Lipitor 20mg for a few years when when Zocor had a generic my doctor says not the same dose had to do 40mg as they were not really the same and have been on it several more years. I have been taking the Flush free Niacin 500 mg as they say it help to lower your cholesterol along with the Zocor 40mg it has come down below the 200 but my left leg is giving me trouble. One doctor said the tendon needs to be stretched and told me how to exercise it but another said pinched nerve I really believe the first one after reading the comments but this has been long time on the simvastain and I would like to stop it even if only every other day then less and less.
    I also had a kidney stone which I had never had before and I am 82 and very active mow my lawn on rider and push mower had been dancing till a year ago now some one let me know what you think my daughters doctor told her to get off but she had only been on it a couple month ordered by another doctor hers was like 265 mine had not been that high little over 200 before I took any thing. Someone clue me in thanks you for your opinion mk

    I started 20 mg zocor simvastatin 2 weeks ago… fatigued, feel like I have no strength in my arms, 65 degrees outside and I feel cold, I just sit in my chair and hardly move these last few days, something is off. I’m 60 and thought I felt pretty good until I started this. Are these normal or common side effects of this medication?

    I have been on simvastatin (20 mg) for at least five years and others for at least five years more. I am 71 years old and am good shape. About 2 months ago, starting feeling so tired and severe heart palpitations and irregular heart beats at night. I woke up a lot at night, started having aches and pains and a bad right hip. Wow, I have never felt like this —oh also terrible heart burn. Went to refil my rx last week and sat and read all the side effects—there were so many new ones and all my ailments were on that list.
    So, have been off them for about 2 weeks now, all symptoms are a lot better except irregular heart beats. Am going to give it about two more weeks before going to the doctor about heart. I am so thankful for this website and to all of you for being honest about symptoms. Thanks

    My Dr put me on this simvastatin 40 mg almost 2yrs ago, slowly I started to notice fatigue, & leg pains in the back of my thighs down to my back of my calfs. I told my drs my heart & gp they brush it off. I was so tired all the time, wasn’t sleeping thru the night, just felt listless, couldn’t understand why I’m taking all these meds & feeling so crappy. Why should I bother, you take meds for one thing to improve & wind up messing around getting some other problems. So one day I spoke to my mom, it seems like we mirror one another with our health problems(heart,diabetes, hypertension, & high cholesterol) so we started talking about our meds it so happens she had been experiencing the Same back of the legs & calves & fatigue. So I started doing the process of elimination, I notice after I had stop taking the simvastatin NO MORE LEG PAIN & THE FATIGUE was lessening. I started to feel like my happier old self, where I was so very grateful to see another day, & not dreading another day of pain & fatigue. I took matters in my own hands, I stopped & told my drs I stopped. No one lives in this body but ME, I feel the Pain & the Fatigue. Like some of the comments I read let these drs need to take the meds they prescribe & see what they experience! Let them walk in our shoes 1st. I will be my own advisor, you may present it to me, I will give it a try, but in the end I know what’s best for me. I live in this body, I’m feeling the side effects not you or the pharmaceutical company!

    Just to update my condition of shoulder, upper arm, and knee pain has not improved after 9 months simvastatin free. I am just sick about it. I have become pretty much a hermit as the pain prevents good sleep and takes your desire to see people. I’ve gone to physical therapy for months with no improvement. I don’t think this will ever get better as I did have high cpk that supports muscle damage.

    You all have been SO very helpful. I have been on Simvastatin and on Lipitor prior to that. Not sure how many years exactly but more than 5 that is for sure. Since then I have gained nearly 75 lbs, had lipoedema in my lower legs, memory loss/fuzzy, weakness, fatigue, liver bile issues, and bowel issues. I am borderline diabetes 2 (doesn’t run in my family) and I am so tired and weak I can hardly get around. I give couch potatoes a bad name. The other day, I suddenly and unexplainable cannot lift my left leg when in a sitting position.
    There is something wrong with my muscle. Completely atrophied. I have an appointment with my doctor next week to find out what is going on but TODAY I am stopping my 40mg of Simvastatin. I recently heard there is no proof that any of these statins prevent anything in otherwise healthy people. I have never had a heart problem. Just high cholesterol tests. Personally I would rather have a heart attack than be on this medication. I QUIT. Good luck everyone and thanks for the useful info.

    Have there been any side effects of this drug associated with Meniere’s Disease? I have been taking Simvastatin (40 mg.) for a few years and have had periodic bouts of tinnitus and hearing loss. I’ve taken prednisone and had an office procedure done with no results. I have followed all of the recommended dietary restrictions but still there is no relief. Could my problem be simvastatin? I’m at a loss as where to turn to next.

    vita m: I had those pains, not cramps, but burning as you described for about two years. They got progressively worse and I changed my statin to Crestor. I changed everything and nothing helped. After the first year was up (March of 2013) I knew I couldn’t stand it any longer and my doctor tried various pain meds…nothing worked. In January of 2014 I finally went to a spine surgeon who was suggested to me by a therapist trying to do an evaluation and unable to figure out what was wrong. The doctor suggested an injection which was useless to me. His next suggestion was surgery. I had surgery to fuse L4 and L5 vertebrae on February 13, 2014 and went to a good rehab center. I just returned home a week ago April 3rd and it is the first time in two years that I have been pain free. I am not suggesting surgery, because I would never do that, but you should definitely find out what is wrong with you. My problem was pressure to the nerves to my legs. Last summer was a lost summer…this year I will enjoy it to the fullest.

    I was put on Simvastatin 5 mg, 5 months ago. My total Cholesterol was 199, I have had it over 200, like 208. This has been going on for the last 8 years, I am 73, do watch
    my diet, but cannot exercise due to idiopathic neuropathy.
    Now, 5 months later, I have awful severe pain in my thighs, Motrin 400 mg will take it down for several hours. I wonder if I should stop the pill until I see my doctor in one month?
    It was interesting reading the blogs.

    Hi, I have had lower leg pain (not cramps) but almost burning pain usually when asleep during 4 – 6 a.m. Both legs or one at a time wake me up at least 3 times per week. Are your pains cramps or pains? Mine is almost an ache but feels like fire burning under my skin… I have been off the simvistatin for almost 2 months and it is getting much better but my levels are high so I need to go on something. Any ideas that have helped?

    I took my last atorvastatin pill on March 17, by the second day off the pills the itching began to subside, but it took nearly 2 weeks to completely stop. In the mean time the skin biopsy came back positive for “consistent with drug eruption.” Another side effect I had, which also took nearly 2 weeks to clear up was edema. I gained close to 8 pounds in water weight and had 3+ pitting edema in my lower legs and ankles.
    I reported my side effects to the FDA, which is something I hope others will do. Physicians and other healthcare providers are supposed to do this,but rarely do unless their patients die or have disabling adverse events. If more people reported their side effects and adverts events we would have more recalls and safer medicines. Here’s the website:

    Melissa, I could be the one writing the symptoms you have experienced… leg cramps, droopy eye lids, left eye muscle pain and contractions. In addition, after many years of using simvastatin, I’ve started having severe itching, puffiness around the ankles (especially the left ankle), and some dizziness.
    My last two blood tests have shown poor renal function. Why in the world didn’t someone pick up on the possible side effects of simvastatin? I am glad that I found this site and read the comments. I am contacting my doctor today to ask him/her to change my medicine to see if these conditions change.

    I never did associate my leg cramps, Lower calf, with Simvastin.
    Instead I looked into other possibilities, Flat sole slippers, and sleeping position.
    My cramps came when I was laying on my back stretched out, by accident I found by pushing my toes downwards, this relieved the cramp.
    So now I use 1″ heel shoes all day, (Calf not stretched) and by using two pillows at the headboard I have reduced my bed length to 5ft, so I sleep in the forced foetle position.
    Instant remedies. No cramps for 3 years+
    My cure came before I stopped having Simvastin, a 1.5 years afterwards

    I started atorvastatin 20mg. daily on 2/21/14, a week later I started itching. I did not suspect that the pill was the cause, but a month later I am miserable. I itch all over. It keeps me awake. No other new drugs, no changes in diet, nor laundry or skin care products. I am also on cholestyramine (2packs a day) and have been on that for a long time. I had previously been on simvistatin but severe cramps led me to discontinue that drug, hence the cholestyramine, but it was not working well enough so my doctor switched me to atorvastatin.
    My dermatologist has ruled out any parasitic infestations, so now I am suspecting the atorvastatin. For now I am using Benadryl at bed time and triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% on my skin.
    Have others experienced severe systemic itching in relation to Lipitor/atorvastatin?

    Chest pains. Well the first thing you should have done(according to UK NHS advice)is go to A and E in an ambulance. When i was off work after i had an initial heart event i had chest pains all the time and again when i was on Simvastatin when i was still off work(off work for 6 weeks). I would theorise in my case it is the absence of exercise that gives me chest pain as that all cleared up when i went back to work(cycling each way 45 minutes at a good pace). But i wouldn’t necessarily say that it was Simvastatin although it could be. But if so, i would say that Simvastatin helped me to do exercise. Perhaps you should do some. Maybe you don’t need any statin!
    Right now i have no problems, aside from the fact that i sometimes have to go to the toilet urgently after getting up. And i have found that those occurrences are on days when i perhaps don’t need the Simvastatin quite so much. Simvastatin has cured me of hip pain, makes my knee pain better(i can run on those days) and cured me of TMJ, gum pain, tooth decay. My dentist doesn’t agree but i have had no dental work in the last 18 months(since being on it) and before then never had a 6 monthly APPT when i didn’t have a couple of fillings. Case proved!
    So for me, its a miracle drug. But i would advise doing stretching on a daily basis(twice daily if you can) and specific Hip exercises which have helped me for years. And of course, cycling and running if you can. Inactivity has caused most people on this site to have problems and getting older is exacerbating those problems. Please at least do some walking if you can. Also its probable that daily yogurt will help with any bowel problems people may have, the sort with live cultures inside(onken for example). I was first given this while in hospital in Austria on a heart ward and it can help you. If you have anything in the system so to speak, it will enable you to go to the toilet(rest room).

    Been taking simvastatin 40mg for 10 months and its been like taking poison. I had severe tingling through out my whole body and irregular heart beats chest pains, constipation and muscle pain. My cardio doctor ignored my symptoms for 10 months so I had to take matters into my own hands. I stopped taking simvastatin 40mg for 7 days and I felt a little better, so I decided to try taking a pill to see if it would change in anyway.
    Yep, all symptoms came back in full force, stopped again and knew I had to change statins or not take any at all. Went to a new doctor and he changed my statin to Lipitor 20mg and all my symptoms are gone, I feel normal again.
    I forgot to mention that 10 months ago I had 3 stents put in my heart. For some people like me simvastatin is not a good choice and doctors don’t know everything, at least they should listen to their patients. I hope this helps at least one person.

    I was on Simvastatin for over 5 years. This coincided closely with taking a new physically demanding job. When I experienced gradually increasing fatigue and muscle pain I blamed the job, to the point I finally quit it.
    After that the symptoms didn’t improve but in fact got progressively worse. When my left eye started bulging Drs started ordering tests. After nearly a year of numerous, expensive tests, the only advice I received was to start on anti-depressants. I didn’t want a band aid, I wanted an answer.
    I finally went to my GP (didn’t go to him except for my annuals, didn’t need to since I was always healthy), who identified to source of my problems within 5 minutes. Within weeks of stopping the statin I could tell things were improving. My eye is no longer bulging and the fatigue and pain seemed to be getting better.
    It’s now 1 year since I stopped taking the statin but my neck and shoulders are still painful and seem to be getting worse again. On an earlier post someone described their pain in their upper arms as burning and as if the muscles were being torn out. That is how it feels to me. In addition it feels as if my shoulder joints want to separate. The pain is terrible and impacts all I do. Blood tests didn’t indicate muscle damage but I’m beginning to doubt that.
    How long can the side effects to Simvastatin last? Are there ways to stop them? Any ideas would be appreciated. I’m getting desperate.

    Also considering bullfighting classes.

    Hilarious! Won’t be travelling to Russia anytime soon.

    I have been on 20 mg of simvistatin for a month. I however stopped taking the drug after I experienced heaviness with my breathing & slight pain in my chest. I consulted my doctor and he put me on cartia aspirin. After sometime there is really no improvement. I have now stopped taking any drugs and honestly I am now feeling a lot better. Although I still experience occasional difficulty with my breathing it has improved.
    I also believe that pray, faith in God and a healthy diet and exercise are avenues where one can find courage and peace to continue living.

    You need to get a new heart Doctor – there are some with a sense that the patient is intelligent also, ones out there who don’t think they are GOD. I had the same experience with a gastroenterologist who just says you need to take this pill and won’t discuss any other options. Will ask for another one next time.

    My doctor wants to put me on a low dose of Simvastatin. I already have stomach problems. I have adverse effects in general with a long list of allergies. I have shortness of breath and fatigue now. This guy is a heart guy. He will not discuss q10. He will not run any heart tests except for this blood test. I have high blood pressure (I am younger) and he refuses to be interested in my concerns regarding anything. His patients are allowed to leave 1 message to him and if there is additional anyone wants to add he throws them all away. Help!!!

    I have been on Simvastatin 40mg for 3 years. In the last 2 months I feel like I have been beaten up with a baseball bat. Mainly my shoulders and legs but the muscle soreness is causing me problems on my job. I have been diagnosed with arthritis in my knees 2 years ago. I attributed this to my age at 55. Too much physical labor. So I was off work 2 weeks and did nothing. I am still in severe muscle and joint pain. Is simvastatin the culprit? I am currently working away from home so cannot go see my doc. Thanks for any advice

    I am in good health, but have high cholesterol. Went on 20 mg of simvastatin on Monday and Tuesday had pain in my hip. Wednesday had severe pain in my shoulders. Didn’t connect it to the drug. By Friday I was nauseous, dizzy and had pain in all of my muscles and joints plus a headache which I never get it. Finally figured out before the medication I felt great. After 5 days I was tired and felt horrible. I’m high energy and eat a great diet.
    Went off the drug on Saturday and today Sunday I am shaky, have a terrible headache and am extremely tired. I don’t take meds and am mad at myself for finally taking simvastatin. How long will the symptoms last after only 5 days of taking this stuff? So grateful I realized what was happening and discontinued within 5 days. This is a great site and pray I feel normal again soon.

    Started taking Simvastatin about 2 and a half years ago. Previously to taking it (now 20mg) I was very energetic and athletic. Now I am lucky I can move from the couch. Between the lower back pain, hip pain and upper leg pain, I’ve become very depresses, plus the 10 pound weight gain doesn’t help. The pain can get relentless at times. Started about 6 months ago getting urinary tract infections which don’t seem to go away, wonder if my kidneys have been damaged. I am going off the medication today. I am seeing a urologist at the end of the month. Yes, quality of life is very important to me too. I intend to follow a diet and start taking fish oil supplements. Wow, what an eye opener this has been and yes, I did read what this medicine can do to you.

    In reply to RS:
    Hang in there. You can read my prior comments during the past year. After taking Simvastatin for over three years, I felt the same way that you are feeling. I quit a year ago September, and it took the whole year to get back to somewhat normal. And at least a month to see some improvement in my muscle pain and lack of grip. I took COQ10 for about a half of that year and that might have helped.
    I honestly believe the Simvastatin may work for some people, but I also believe it is what caused my problems. I have never taken many prescriptions over the years, and have been unusually healthy (as compared to lots of my friends and family). Both of my parents lived to their 90’s and my mom had a cholesterol level over 300. She didn’t take medication for it and died of old age. Same for my day, except he is still alive and working at 94. My oldest daughter is 38, and has always had high cholesterol. Yet she is a tri-athlete with a body fat index of 3. We have all decided that this high cholesterol thing is just a for pharmaceuticals to push another profit making drug.
    I quit taking any health pills (fish oil, vitamin D, etc). I was up to 16 Ibuprofen 200mg a day to cope with the muscle pain a year ago. Now I take occasionally take two when I get a back spasm or a headache.
    Things will get better. I feel like I am 95% back to normal health. My only question is my short term memory didn’t seem to come back fully. But I am 64, so that could be just the age factor setting in. :)
    Best of luck. I hope quitting works for you. In the meantime, if your friends start complaining about rotator cuff problems, hands and wrists aching, knee pain, neck pain, ask them if they are taking any statins. And warn them of the dangers. Or just let them them read this comment section. I know it changed my life.
    J Scott

    I had no problem when on Lipitor 10 but once health insurance said I had to go generic the problems started. Simvastin 20 Called the pharmacy when I noticed the supplier had changed and asked her to find out where the pills were made. Came from a huge distributor on the west coast and originated in some small village nobody ever heard of in China. Makes you also question the quality control of the Simvastin and if that is one of the causes of all the problems. I think all medications should be labeled as to exact point of manufacture.

    I’m a 44 year-old who was put in Simvastatin for high cholesterol. I’m taking 10mg daily. Been taking it for 1 year. Cholesterol levels all look great now and I have no apparent side affects. However, my doctor is concerned about latest liver test levels. Prior to the medication, my liver test levels were:
    AST /SGOT 29 IU/L 10-42 (acceptable range)
    ALT /SGPT 37 IU/L 10-60 (acceptable range)
    After 1 year of medication, they are:
    AST /SGOT [H] 50 IU/L 10-42 (acceptable range)
    ALT /SGPT [H] 73 IU/L 10-60 (acceptable range)
    Quite honestly, I am not very confident my doctor’s assessment, for various reasons, so I’m trying to do some research on my own. She wants me to stop the medication all together. But I have read that many times liver levels will adjust to normal levels, and you don’t really need to be worried until the liver levels are 3X what is acceptable. My levels are high, but not by much. Anyone have experience with this?
    People’s Pharmacy response: We would urge you to take these results to a different doctor and get a second opinion.

    I was prescribed simvastatin 40mg at a pre surgery physical. I told the Dr I had no interest in a statin drug as I had heard of many bad side effects. He said this wasn’t true and if I didn’t get on one I was going to die! Well 3 weeks after the knee surgery I was feeling weaker and weaker. I felt like I had the flu combined with anxiety, weakness and inability to concentrate. My upper arms got so weak I could hardly lift them. I stopped the simvastatin and the anxiety and fogginess subsided but the muscle pain persisted.
    The next week I went to my GP and had a CPK test done and it was around 800. Well that was 1 month ago and my CPK is back to normal but my arms are as weak as ever and my rotator cuffs hurt terribly! I truly don’t understand how these drugs can continue to be prescribed when they cause such horrible side effects even if its in a small amount of patients. I am only 55 years old and truly feel 80 years old now.
    If this is permanent my life has been ruined by this drug that the Dr. said I would die if I didn’t take it. I guess in a way I did die from taking it. I have no desire to be in pain and feel incapacitated for the next 20 to 30 years so I don’t have a heart attack! I am expecting a new grandchild next week that I was supposed to care for but that will be out of the question if this pain and weakness does not subside.

    I have been taking simvastatin for about 3 years. I have numbness in both hands and feet. My feet feel like the muscles are balled up in my upper feet. My hands are so cramped that I have trouble writing and can only hold things with both hands. The cramps in my legs and lower back are bad. My doctor thought I had a pinched nerve. That came out negative, so he said arthritis. He said my potassium was low, so he gave my effer k for a week. I stopped taking simvastatin last week. I will request blood test when I go to the doctor this week. thank you for the information.

    This is a follow-up from my initial post in September 2012.
    I have been off of Simvistatin for a year now. It has taken most of that year to get back close to normal. I have not take any medications for high cholesterol in the past year, and despite my personal physician recommending another non-statin medication, I will NEVER take another medication for high cholesterol again.
    I just wish I could get back the three years of pain I went through while taking Simvistatin. Three long years of rotator cuff pain and clavicle pain, all the while having specialists recommending surgery. Two years of what they thought was carpal tunnel problems, again accompanied with the suggestions to have surgery. One full year of hammer thumb. Nine months of loss of feeling in my fingers in both hands (Neurosurgeon suggested working on my C-6). Weakness and pain in both knees, to the point that I had to knell in order to get out of bed. not being able to grip a hammer. Needing to use two hands to use a drill. Dropping small glasses of water in my lap.
    When the class action law suit against the makers of Simvistatin happens, which it will, count me in.

    Yes! I am having the same issue. Am going to off for awhile to test this theory of mine. With all the other
    awful possibilities. I am not sure it is worth it!

    I commented to this site in March 2013 of leg weakness and tiredness? Now 6 months later after nearly drowning because of leg weakness, my doctor sent me for a test which showed I have muscle deterioration!
    I am now on CO Q 10 but still feel weak! I am worried about my cholesterol levels going back up, because I did have a mild heart attack 3 years ago. Every lab test other than the one for muscle damage turns out normal. My blood pressure is 120/70, my BMI is 22, so basically I do not have huge health issues…but I feel so tired and weak!
    I am wondering how long it takes to regain my strength after going off Simvastatin and is there anything besides statins that will really lower the cholesterol?

    To HJL…I was not applying my personal experience to all. I was just relating that in my case of taking Simvastatin for 20+ years it did what it was designed to do. On the other hand those on this site that are posting negative comments seem to be implying that Simvastatin is a bad drug that no one should take. I would venture to say there are millions of people taking Simvastin world wide and most are happy with it.
    To JLP I am very lucky I agree. I live in Las Vegas and love the buffets here. In fact in anther few minutes I will be hittting one of the buffets for all you can eat crab legs plus lots of other goodies.
    Good luck to you.

    Rick you obviously are a fortunate man. To be 71 and on only two drugs is great and how lucky you are to be able to eat as much as you want. You must come from a long line of healthy people…lucky you. I am 74, have had a heart attack, two open heart surgeries, two stents and an artificial mitral valve, also atrial fibrillation and take prescriptions for everything…I come by it genetically. It makes a person feel weak and vulnerable, even when she looks perfectly healthy. So, I guess you have every reason to be a proponent of Simvastatin and it is probably good for people to read a positive outcome.
    As it turns out some of the symptoms that people here are reporting, may be symptoms of other things. I had my statin changed to Crestor and a rheumatologist diagnosed me with Lumbar Spondyliosis.
    Moral: When in doubt, be your own healthcare advocate.

    Rick, congratulations if simvastatin is working for you. However, it is dangerous to take one’s personal experience and apply it to all. That is not science, science is a double blind study with many people to test what happens to many people.
    For example, you are on an 80 mg dose. It is now against FDA guidelines to put a patient on that dose unless they were already on it. That guideline came about because even the FDA finally woke up to the bad side effects with simvastatin at that dosage.
    Drugs have been taken off the market after approval when horrible side effects became apparent when large numbers began taking it. Moreover the biggest effect for a statin comes with the lowest dose. Doubling the dose doesn’t double the effect. People who think they should be on a statin should start with the lowest dose.

    I have read so much bad news about Simvastatin on this site I thought I would report my positive experience.
    I am 71 and have been taking 80MG of Simvastatin for 20+ years with no discernible side effects and I believe that I have enjoyed the benefits that the drug was intended for.
    I started taking Simvastatin after a cholesterol test registered over 250 years ago.
    My doctor at the time said he could give me a cholesterol lowering diet but doubted I would remain on it for the rest of my life. The alternative to the diet was Simvastatin.
    I am a big meat and ice cream eater. I really eat whatever I want in large quantities and yet my cholesterol has remained around 170 for all of the years I have been taking the drug.
    I had the occasion several years ago to take an EKG which showed no blockage. I am generally healthy with a somewhat enlarged prostate for which I take Terazosin.
    I exercise several times a week by walking and that’s it.
    I am only on Terazosin and Simvastatin and no other drugs.
    Blood pressure around 115 over 70, pulse 65.
    I am about 25 pounds overweight which is the side affect of loving the food I eat.
    So I am a proponent of Simvastatin.

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