Are Zocor and Pravachol the Same Thing?
Zocor (simvastatin) and Pravachol (pravastatin) are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors ("statins") that lower 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.
Side effects of Zocor that are different from Pravachol include heartburn, gas, bloating, stomach pain, indigestion, constipation, joint pain, sleep problems (insomnia), mild memory problems or confusion, or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat.
Zocor may also interact with digoxin, digitalis, blood thinners, antifungals, drugs that weaken your immune system (such as steroids, cancer medicine, or medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection), or other "statin" medications.
What Are Possible Side Effects of Zocor?
Common side effects of Zocor include:
- stomach pain,
- 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 Are Possible Side Effects of Pravachol?
Common side effects of Pravachol include:
- muscle tenderness or weakness,
- jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes),
- chest pain,
- dark urine,
- weight loss,
- memory problems,
- increased thirst, or
- clay-colored stools.
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 Is Pravachol?
Pravachol (pravastatin) is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, also called a "statin," used to lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and death due to arteriosclerotic vascular disease. Pravachol is available as a generic. Common side effects of Pravachol include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, skin rash, dizziness, and abnormal liver tests.
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.
What Drugs Interact With Pravachol?
Drug interactions include cholestyramine, nicotinic acid, gemfibrozil, cholchicine and cyclosporine. Pravachol (pravastatin) should not be used during pregnancy. Breastfeeding mothers also should not use this drug because of the potential risk to nursing infants.
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.
How Should Pravachol Be Taken?
The usual dose of Pravachol (pravastatin) ranges from 10 mg to 80 mg daily.
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Merck. Zocor Product Information.
Bristol Meyers Squibb. Pravachol Product Information.