Generic Name: Simvastatin
Product Name: Lipex
Lipex is used to help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Lipex is used in patients who have coronary heart disease or who are at high risk of coronary heart disease, (for instance, if they have diabetes, a history of stroke, or other blood vessel disease). For these people, Lipex can be used to:
- reducing the risk of a heart attack in order to prolong life
- reduce the risk of stroke
- reduce the need of surgery to increase blood flow to the heart
- reduce the need for hospitalisation due to angina
Lipex belongs to a group of medicines called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lipex works to reduce the bad cholesterol and raises the good cholesterol.
However, Lipex does not reduce the cholesterol and triglycerides that come from fat in food. Therefore, you also need to follow a low fat diet and other measures, such as exercise and weight control.
Your doctor may have prescribed Lipex for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Lipex has been prescribed for you.
- You should take one tablet daily, preferably in the evening, because morning doses are slightly less effective.
- If your urine is dark brown or if you have any muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, you should seek medical help from your doctor immediately.
- You should avoid taking large amounts of grapefruit juice (over 1 litre) each day, as it may increase the amount of simvastatin in your bloodstream and may increase the possibility of Lipex causing side effects. These side effects include muscle aches, tenderness or weakness. One glass (250 mL) of grapefruit juice each day has not shown to produce a significant effect.
- If you become pregnant while taking Lipex, you must stop taking it and inform their doctor immediately
- You should ensure that your blood fats are checked by the doctor at the arranged times.
- If you are starting on any new medicines while taking Lipex, you should tell your doctor.
- If you are about to undergo surgery, you should inform your doctor that you are taking Lipex as your doctor may suggest stopping the therapy a few days before surgery.
- You should avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol as this may increase the chance of liver problems while taking Lipex.
- Lipex may cause dizziness. You should make sure that you know how Lipex affects you before driving a car or operating machinery.
- Lowering high cholesterol can help reduce your chances of having coronary heart disease. However, your chances of having coronary heart disease may be increased by several other factors, for example high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, excess weight, family history of coronary heart disease, being male, and being woman who has reached menopause.
- Lifestyle changes can help to further lower your cholesterol levels and reduce the chance of coronary heart disease. This includes,
- Low fat diet
- Weight loss (if needed)
- Regular exercise e.g. walking
- Stop or cut down on smoking
Your doctor, pharmacist, dietician or other health professionals would be able to provide you with further advice.
Common side effects
All medicines have side effects. Most commonly the side effects are minor however some can be more serious. Usually the benefits of taking a medication outweigh the associated side effects. Your Doctor would have considered these side effects before starting you on Lipex.
Common side effects are those which occur in more than 1% of patients given Lipex. These include;
If you experience any of the side effects below, you should inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
- Aching muscles, muscle tenderness or weakness, not caused by exercise
- Brown/black coloured urine
- Hair loss
- Muscle cramps
Uncommon side effects
Side effects which occur in less than 1% of patients given Lipex are considered uncommon. Patients do not necessarily experience any of these side effects do not become alarmed by this list:
- tingling in the hands or feet
- yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, also called jaundice
- signs of anaemia, such as tiredness, being short of breath, and looking pale
- fever, generally feeling unwell
- skin rash, itchiness
- pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin, also called hives or nettlerash
- painful, swollen joints
- bruising more easily than normal
- larger breasts than normal in men
If you experience any of these side effects or any other symptoms which are unusual please tell your doctor as soon as possible.
- Australian Medicines Handbook 2007, Adelaide, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, 2007.
- MIMS Online. [Monograph online] MIMS Australia Pty Ltd 2003. [Cited June 8, 2008]. Available from: [URL Link]
For further information talk to your doctor.