There are many alternatives to Simcor (niacin extended-release/simvastatin) for those who do not respond well to the medication or develop side effects during treatment. Other statins can be used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Alternatives may also include bile acid sequestrants, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and fibrates.
For many people, lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, exercise, and a low cholesterol diet) are simply not enough to help them reach their cholesterol goals. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough, your doctor can prescribe cholesterol medications. One such medicine is Simcor® (niacin extended-release/simvastatin). For most people, Simcor is quite effective in lowering cholesterol. However, side effects can occur, and people may wish to consider Simcor alternatives, such as statins or other cholesterol medicines.
Simcor is a combination medicine of simvastatin (Zocor®) and niacin extended-release (Niaspan®). Simvastatin is part of a class of drugs called statins. Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is a B vitamin used to improve cholesterol levels. There is one medication that is very similar to Simcor -- Advicor® (niacin extended-release/lovastatin). It is a very similar drug, except that it contains lovastatin instead of simvastatin.
Another alternative to Simcor is taking simvastatin by itself. Simvastatin is available as a generic form or under the brand name Zocor. Simvastatin and other statins work by blocking a particular enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. This causes the liver to make less cholesterol.
- Increase the liver's ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol")
- Increase HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol")
- Decrease triglycerides.
Besides simvastatin, there are several types of statins available that could be considered alternatives to Simcor. These include:
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor®) or combination medications that contain atorvastatin (Caduet®, Liptruzet™)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol®, Lescol® XL)
- Lovastatin (Altoprev®, Mevacor®) or combination medications that contain lovastatin (Advicor®)
- Pitavastatin (Livalo®)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol®)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor®).
Niacin (nicotinic acid) by itself could also be considered a substitute for Simcor. There are a number of different brand-name niacin products, including Niaspan (extended-release niacin) and Slo-Niacin (slow-release niacin).