What is Zocor?
Zocor is a prescription statin drug used by people who need to lower their cholesterol. Zocor works by inhibiting cholesterol production in the liver. Zocor is the brand name for the drug manufactured by Merck & Co. of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Its chemical name is simvastatin.
What's wrong with Zocor?
The problem with Zocor is patients prescribed the 80 mg. pill have an increased risk of developing rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening form of muscle disease which can lead to severe kidney damage, kidney failure, and death.
Zocor has also been linked to potential increase in major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack, revascularization and cardiovascular death, in patients taking 80 mg. compared to 20 mg. doses.
An estimated 24 million Americans take cholesterol-lowering drugs; it’s big business and good for investor relations. An estimated 12 million women are prescribed statin drugs each year.
In a clinical trial database where 41,050 patients were treated with Zocor with 24,747 (approximately 60%) treated for at least 4 years, the incidence of myopathy was approximately 0.02%, 0.08% and 0.53% at 20, 40 and 80 mg./day, respectively. Myopathy is a muscular disorder that interferes with the proper function of muscle fibers. Depending on the severity, a person suffering myopathy may find the muscles are so weak that performing routine tasks is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The FDA reviewed results of the SEARCH trial which over a period of 6.7 years, evaluated the number of major cardiovascular events in 6,031 patients taking 80 mg. of simvastatin compared to 6,033 patients taking 20 mg. of simvastatin. Preliminary results show more patients in the 80 mg. group developed myopathy compared to patients in the 20 mg. group.