Mevacor vs. Zocor

Are Mevacor and Zocor the Same Thing?

Mevacor (lovastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin) are both used to reduce cholesterol levels. Levels of "bad cholesterol" or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood lead to all sorts of cardiovascular problems such as congestive heart failure and strokes; the LDL adheres to artery walls and narrows or blocks bloodflow.

Mevacor and Zocor are both in the statin family of drugs, which also includes Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin), among others. All statins work by inhibiting your liver's ability to make its own cholesterol. Statins like Mevacor and Zocor bind with a cholesterol precursor chemical called hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase or HMG-CoA (statins are also called HMG-CoA inhibitors). HMG-CoA is one step in the process the liver cells use to manufacture cholesterol from simpler molecules.

Because cholesterol is necessary for all sorts of functions, like cell structure digestion, nerve function and others, the liver will start to pull cholesterol from the blood stream to make up for its inability to make enough on its own, reducing blood cholesterol levels. Statins also raise the level of "good cholesterol" or high-density lipoproteins (HDL) in the blood. These HDL molecules act as scavengers, grabbing the LDL molecules and taking them back to the liver for processing.

Mevcor and Zocor are chemically similar and nearly identical side effects, though Zocor is the more potent of the two. Side effects include: headache, diarrhea, liver damage, muscle inflammation, and increases in blood sugar levels as seen in diabetes.

Both Mevacor and Zocor react badly with the same drugs, including blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Mevacor?

Common side effects of Mevacor include:

  • headache,
  • muscle pain/tenderness/weakness,
  • joint pain,
  • back pain,
  • stomach pain,
  • gas,
  • bloating,
  • stomach upset,
  • heartburn,
  • indigestion,
  • nausea,
  • constipation,
  • diarrhea, or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zocor?

Common side effects of Zocor include:

  • heartburn,
  • gas,
  • bloating,
  • stomach pain,
  • indigestion,
  • nausea,
  • constipation,
  • diarrhea,
  • headache,
  • joint pain,
  • muscle pain,
  • skin rash,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • mild memory problems or confusion, or
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat.
  • What is Mevacor?

    Mevacor (lovastatin) is a cholesterol-lowering medication called a statin prescribed to treat elevated blood cholesterol levels. Mevacor is available in generic form. Mevacor should be used in addition to dietary modifications as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol levels when the response to diet and other nonpharmacological measures alone have been inadequate to reduce cardiovascular risk.

    What is Zocor?

    Zocor (simvastatin) is a statin that lowers lipids and cholesterol levels used in conjunction with lifestyle changes such as a low-fat, low cholesterol diet, and exercise to reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease and ischemic strokes in patients with elevated lipids and cholesterol. Zocor is also used to treat heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) in adolescents (males and females that are one-year post menarche, 10 to 17 years old). Zocor is available in generic form.

    What Drugs Interact With Mevacor?

    Tell your doctor about all other medications you use. Certain other drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems, and it is very important that your doctor knows if you are using any of them:

    Also tell your doctor if you use:

    This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with lovastatin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

    What Drugs Interact With Zocor?

    Tell your doctor about all other medications you use. Certain other drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems, and it is very important that your doctor knows if you are using any of them:

    • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);
    • colchicine (Colcrys);
    • danazol (Danocrine);
    • diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Dilacor, Diltia, Diltzac, Taztia, Tiazac) or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
    • gemfibrozil (Lopid), fenofibric acid (Fibricor, Trilipix), or fenofibrate (Antara, Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide);
    • ranolazine (Ranexa);
    • medicines that contain niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others); or
    • drugs that weaken your immune system, such as steroids, cancer medicine, or medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, such as sirolimus (Rapamune) or tacrolimus (Prograf).

    Also tell your doctor if you use:

    • cimetidine (Tagamet);
    • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
    • spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide); or
    • any other "statin" medication such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, Caduet), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin and niacin (Advicor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), or simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin).

    This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with lovastatin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

    How Should Mevacor Be Taken?

    Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

    Lovastatin is usually taken at bedtime or with an evening meal. If you take lovastatin several times daily, take it with meals. Follow your doctor's instructions.

    Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

    Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

    You may need to stop using lovastatin for a short time if you have surgery or a medical emergency.

    To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

    Lovastatin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

    You may need to take lovastatin on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol.

    Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

    How Should Zocor Be Taken?

    The usual dosage range is 5 to 40 mg/day. In patients with CHD or at high risk of CHD, ZOCOR can be started simultaneously with diet. The recommended usual starting dose is 10 or 20 mg once a day in the evening. For patients at high risk for a CHD event due to existing CHD, diabetes, peripheral vessel disease, history of stroke or other cerebrovascular disease, the recommended starting dose is 40 mg/day. Lipid determinations should be performed after 4 weeks of therapy and periodically thereafter.

    Restricted Dosing For 80 mg

    Due to the increased risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, particularly during the first year of treatment, use of the 80-mg dose of ZOCOR should be restricted to patients who have been taking simvastatin 80 mg chronically (e.g., for 12 months or more) without evidence of muscle toxicity .

    Patients who are currently tolerating the 80-mg dose of ZOCOR who need to be initiated on an interacting drug that is contraindicated or is associated with a dose cap for simvastatin should be switched to an alternative statin with less potential for the drug-drug interaction.

    Due to the increased risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, associated with the 80-mg dose of ZOCOR, patients unable to achieve their LDL-C goal utilizing the 40-mg dose of ZOCOR should not be titrated to the 80-mg dose, but should be placed on alternative LDL-C-lowering treatment(s) that provides greater LDL-C lowering.


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    FDA. Mevacor Drug Information.
    RxList. Mevacor Side Effects Center.
    FDA. Zocor Drug Information.
    RxList. Zocor Side Effects Center.

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