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Generic name: simvastatin
Drug class: Statins

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is Zocor used for?

Zocor is a prescription medicine that is used to slow the progress of heart disease. It is used to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol (HDL). Zocor is also used to lower triglycerides.

It is used to lower the chance of heart attack, stroke, and death in some people.

Zocor may be given to you for other reasons.


ZOCOR (simvastatin) is a prodrug of 3-hydoroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor that is derived synthetically from a fermentation product of Aspergillus terreus.

Simvastatin is butanoic acid, 2,2-dimethyl-,1,2,3,7,8,8a-hexahydro-3,7-dimethyl-8-[2-(tetrahydro-4-hydroxy-6-oxo-2H-pyran-2-yl)-ethyl]-1-naphthalenyl ester, [1S-[1α,3α,7β,8β(2S*,4S*),-8aβ]]. The empirical formula of simvastatin is C25H38O5 and its molecular weight is 418.57. Its structural formula is:


Chemical Structure

Simvastatin is a white to off-white, nonhygroscopic, crystalline powder that is practically insoluble in water, and freely soluble in chloroform, methanol and ethanol.

ZOCOR tablets for oral use contain 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg or 80 mg of simvastatin and the following inactive ingredients: ascorbic acid, citric acid, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, iron oxides, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, starch, talc, and titanium dioxide. Butylated hydroxyanisole is added as a preservative.

Mechanism of Action

Simvastatin is a prodrug and is hydrolyzed to its active β-hydroxyacid form, simvastatin acid, after administration. Simvastatin acid and its metabolites are inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme that converts HMG-CoA to mevalonate, a precursor of cholesterol.

Before taking Zocor, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to Zocor; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with Zocor, like certain drugs that are used for HIV, infections, or depression. There are many drugs that must not be taken with Zocor. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you if you are taking a drug that must not be taken with Zocor.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Active liver disease or a rise in liver enzymes.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take Zocor if you are pregnant.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Zocor.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

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 Zocor with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Zocor?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Zocor. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • 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.
  • Avoid or limit drinking alcohol to less than 3 drinks a day. Drinking too much alcohol may raise your chance of liver disease.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
  • If you are Chinese, talk with your doctor. You could have a greater risk of muscle problems.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Zocor with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking Zocor.
  • If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Zocor, call your doctor right away.

How is Zocor best taken?

Use Zocor as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take in the evening.
  • Keep taking Zocor as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.

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.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are the side effects of Zocor that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

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, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • This medicine may cause muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Sometimes, a very bad muscle problem may happen that may lead to kidney problems. Rarely, deaths have happened in people who get these problems when taking drugs like this one. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness that is not normal (with or without fever or feeling out of sorts). Call your doctor right away if you have muscle signs that last after your doctor has told you to stop taking Zocor.
  • Liver problems have happened with drugs like this one. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have 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.

What are some other side effects of Zocor?

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:

  • Headache.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Constipation.
  • Signs of a common cold.

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 the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

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.

How do I store and/or throw out Zocor?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.



PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL – 10 mg Tablet Bottle Label

  • NDC 78206-180-01
  • Zocor®
    (Simvastatin) Tablets
  • 10 mg
  • Each tablet contains 10 mg of simvastatin.
  • Rx only
  • 30 Tablets
PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - 10 mg Tablet Bottle Label

Imprint ZOCOR MSD 735 - Zocor 10 mg



PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL – 20 mg Tablet Bottle Label

  • NDC 78206-181-01
  • Zocor®
    (Simvastatin) Tablets
  • 20 mg
  • Each tablet contains 20 mg of simvastatin.
  • Rx only
  • 30 Tablets
  • PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - 20 mg Tablet Bottle Label


Imprint ZOCOR MSD 740 - Zocor 20 mg

PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL – 40 mg Tablet Bottle Label

  • NDC 78206-182-01
  • Zocor®
    (Simvastatin) Tablets
  • 40 mg
  • Each tablet contains 40 mg of simvastatin.
  • Rx only
  • 30 Tablets
PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - 40 mg Tablet Bottle Label

Imprint ZOCOR MSD 749 - Zocor 40 mg


PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL – 80 mg Tablet Bottle Label

  • NDC 78206-179-01
  • Zocor®
    (Simvastatin) Tablets
  • 80 mg
  • Each tablet contains 80 mg of simvastatin.
  • Rx only
  • 30 Tablets
PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - 80 mg Tablet Bottle Label
Imprint 543 80 - Zocor 80 mg


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