Zocor side effects and those of other cholesterol lowering medications (known as statins) have been the subject of much controversy in recent years, more so than any other class of prescription drugs. Because of this more people are looking into alternative options to reduce their risk of heart disease.
What is Zocor and how does it lower cholesterol?
Zocor and other statin medications are prescription drugs that lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Some of the other more popular ones are Lipitor, Pravachol and Mevacor. Unfortunately these are some of the most popular drugs on the market today, with billions in sales each year.
Zocor, which is just the brand name for a compund called simvastatin, works by blocking the enzyme that your liver needs in order to produce cholesterol. Although it has limited effect on your HDL (good) cholesterol, it does succeed in lowering your LDL levels. Yet as with most medications, with the good comes the bad. And in the case of statin medications, the bad just might outweigh the postive effects. Let’s take a deeper look…
What are the Zocor side effects?
We all know that every single medication on the market today causes some side effects. Just take a look at any magazine or television ad for a drug. Even something as seemingly benign as Advil comes with a laundry list of potential adverse reactions. But when that list includes extreme muscle breakdown, kidney failure, memory loss and personality changes, it’s certainly worth closer inspection.
FACT: High cholesterol is only one of many factors that influence your risk of heart diease. Most people who are on a statin drug do not even need to be.
If you pull up the prescribing information for Zocor at the Merck website one of the first things your eye is drawn to is a new warning regarding an increased risk of myopathy, which is a fancy term for a muscular disease where the muscle fibers actually stop working. Interestingly, this warning is in bold letters while all of the other precautions are in regular font. This is definitely not something the company voluntarily did, meaning this must be a real serious problem for some patients taking the drug.
According to the site there is an increased risk of a life-threatening form of myopathy called rhabdomyolysis, an extreme form of muscle breakdown that could cause serious kidney damage. As such any muscle pain or tenderness should be reported immediately, and if myopathy is suspected you will need to stop taking the drug.
An increase in liver enzyme abnormalities is also a potential Zocor side effect, so the liver has to be constantly monitored to ensure there are no problems occuring there.
The most common problems noted in patients, in 5% of patients, which although it doesn’t sound like alot is actually millions of people, are respiratory infection, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea and constipation.
Some of the other possible Zocor side effects include edema, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, insomnia, bronchitis and eczema.
Simvastatin will also interact with many other medications, and is contraindicated for nursing mother, women who are or hoping to become pregnant, those with active liver disease and adolescents. It’s interesting to note that Merck warns those who do need to start taking other medications to switch to an alternative statin to minimize interactions. For a company to recommend a competing product says a lot about the dangers of Zoloft.
So should I not take Zoloft for my cholesterol?
Some individuals with extremely high cholesterol (along with other high risk factors) may need to be on a statin medication to control the problem. But for most people this is simply not the case and since there are so many very serious side effects to potentially contend with, it makes sense for your own health’s sake to look into possible alternatives that may work just as well if not better. There’s no reason to ever be on any prescription drug unless you absolutely have to be.
Featured Zocor Alternative
Some members of our staff have been taking a special natural cholesterol lowering formula with vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts to help lower LDL cholesterol levels as well as decrease triglycerides (fats) and promote overall heart health.
The ingredients of this special formula have been shown to be much safer than the statin medications prescribed by many doctors. Some of the ingredients have actually outperformed statin medications like Zocor in clinical trials.
Take a look at this natural cholesterol lowering formula and find out how it can help significantly lower your cholesterol levels as well as promote overall heart health.
Natural alternatives that can be effective
Although Zocor and similar statin medications can lower cholesterol levels, there are natural alternatives which may be a better, safer option for you. There are nutrients inclusing vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts that have been shown to not only lower LDL cholesterol, but also lower triglycerides (fats) and increase the good HDL cholesterol that your body needs.
Some of these nutrients have actually been proven to outperform statin medications, without the potential Lipitor side effects. Take a look at some of these beneficial nutrients below:
Policosanol – a natural extract from sugar cane which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol as well as raise HDL (good) cholesterol. More importantly policosanol has been proven to be free of adverse side effects, unlike the statin medications.
Guggulipid Extract – an ancient herb from India recently shown to lower cholesterol levels and also reduce triglyceride levels, another important risk factor for heart disease.
Green Tea Extract – widely used for many medicinal purposes, green tea has been shown to reduce triglycerides as well as LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Green tea also has powerful antioxidants that can help ward off heart disease, cancer and other illnesses.
Tumeric Extract – much evidence points to the fact that tumeric could lower cholesterol and triglycerides, in addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Read more about natural cholesterol lowering nutrients here.
As with all health supplements, make sure you consult your physician or other qualified medical professional before taking any cholesterol lowering nutrients or supplement to avoid the side effects of Zocor.