Vytorin and Muscle Pain
If you are taking Vytorin and muscle pain occurs, there is usually no cause for concern. However, if the muscle pain is accompanied by a fever or you feel ill, notify your healthcare provider immediately. This may indicate a more serious muscle problem, such as myopathy or rhabdomyolysis. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dosage or prescribe a different drug if muscle pain develops.
Vytorin and Muscle Pain: An Introduction
While most people tolerate Vytorin® (ezetimibe/simvastatin) well, side effects can occur. For people taking Vytorin, muscle pain is a common side effect. In previous clinical studies, this problem occurred in up to 3.6 percent of people taking the drug.
Muscle Pain With Vytorin: What to Watch For
Most people who have muscle pain while on Vytorin have no other muscle symptoms. However, in rare cases, people can develop a serious problem with their muscles while on Vytorin, and muscle pain can be one of those symptoms. Two serious (although rare) muscle problems that are seen in people taking this drug are myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is serious, because it can cause muscles to break down, which can lead to acute kidney failure and, in some cases, result in loss of life.
If you develop muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have a fever or feel ill) while taking Vytorin, call your healthcare provider immediately. This could be a sign that you have a serious condition that needs treatment right away.
Drug Interactions With Vytorin and Muscle Pain
Serious muscle problems are more common when Vytorin is first started or when the dosage is increased. It can, however, happen at any time. There are also certain medicines that, when taken with Vytorin, can increase the risk for serious muscle problems. These medicines include:
- Amiodarone (Cordarone®, Pacerone®)
- Amlodipine (Norvasc®)
- Verapamil (Calan®, Calan SR®, Covera-HS®, Isoptin SR®, Verelan®, Verelan PM®)
- Cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®)
- Danazol (Danocrine®)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem®, Cardizem CD®, Cardizem LA®, Cartia XT®, Dilacor XR®, Dilt-CD®, Diltia XT®, Dilt-XR®, Taztia XT®, Tiazac®)
- Fibrates, such as:
- Niacin (nicotinic acid, Niacor®, Nicolar®)
- Clarithromycin (Biaxin®)
- Telithromycin (Ketek®)
- Protease inhibitors, such as:
- Nefazodone (Serzone®)
- Ranolazine (Ranexa®)
- Antifungals, such as:
- Itraconazole (Sporanox®)
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral®)
- Posaconazole (Noxafil®)
- Voriconazole (VFEND®).
Some of these medications should not be combined with Vytorin at all, while others can be taken as long as the Vytorin dosage is reduced (see Vytorin Drug Interactions for more information).
Keep in mind that the risks increase with higher Vytorin dosages and appear to be highest in the first year of use. The highest Vytorin dosage (10/80 mg a day) should be reserved only for people that have already been on that dosage for a year or more without any muscle problems. For everyone else, the maximum dosage is 10/40 mg a day (or even less, in some situations).
Grapefruit juice and grapefruit products, including grapefruit supplements, should also be avoided (see Grapefruit Juice and Vytorin).