Substitute for Zocor
If side effects occur during treatment with Zocor, a substitute may be considered. Alternate medications include other statins, such as rosuvastatin calcium, lovastatin, and atorvastatin calcium. In addition, there are four other major classes of medications that can be used to treat high cholesterol. Factors that can affect which medication your healthcare provider prescribes include your cholesterol levels and heart disease risk factors.
Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for lowering cholesterol. However, for some people, treating high cholesterol with diet, weight control, and exercise is not enough. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough, your doctor can prescribe cholesterol medications. One such medicine is Zocor® (simvastatin). For most people, Zocor is quite effective at lowering cholesterol. It is also generally well-tolerated. However, Zocor side effects can occur, and people may wish to consider a substitute. These Zocor substitutes could include other statins or other cholesterol medicines.
Zocor is part of a class of drugs called statins (or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors). 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. Zocor also:
- Increases the liver's ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol")
- Increases HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol")
- Decreases triglycerides.
Several statin medications are available that could be considered a substitute for Zocor. 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®).
There are also several generic versions of some of these prescription statins, including Zocor (see Generic Zocor). To see if a generic statin would make sense in your situation, talk to your healthcare provider.