Brand Names: U.S.
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to lower cholesterol and other harmful types of cholesterol in the body. Good cholesterol (HDL) levels rise.
- It is used to lower triglycerides.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- If you have an allergy to niacin, simvastatin, or any other part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Active liver disease, bleeding problems, rise in liver enzymes, or ulcer disease.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.
- If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for abnormal heartbeat, infections, HIV, hepatitis C, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, endometriosis, low blood sodium levels, or organ rejection. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
- Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor. This drug may raise blood sugar.
- Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
- Do not take colestipol or cholestyramine within 4 hours of this drug.
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
- Avoid or limit drinking wine, beer, or mixed drinks to less than 3 drinks a day. Drinking too much alcohol may raise your chance of liver disease. Alcohol may cause more flushing.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug.
- If you are Chinese and taking niacin products, talk with your doctor. You could have a greater risk of muscle problems.
- If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Joint pain.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
- Memory problems or loss.
- Low mood (depression).
- Change in sex ability.
- Change in eyesight.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- A fast heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Any bruising or bleeding.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Shortness of breath.
- Sweating a lot.
- Swelling in the feet or hands.
- Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
- Fever and chills.
- Sore throat.
- Not hungry.
- Throwing up.
- Not able to sleep.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Flushing. Taking aspirin 30 minutes before taking this drug may help. If you wake up at night with flushing, get up slowly if you feel like passing out or you are dizzy.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
- Upset stomach.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Back pain.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
- Take with food at bedtime.
- Do not take on an empty stomach.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Avoid beer, wine, mixed drinks, hot drinks, or spicy foods when it is time to take this drug.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- If you miss taking this drug for a few days in a row, call your doctor before you start taking it again.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
General drug facts
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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Last updated: February 1, 2014