What Is Niacin Extended-Release/Simvastatin Used For?
Niacin extended-release/simvastatin is a drug that is used for treating unhealthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels in adults. Specifically, it is used to increase HDL ("good" cholesterol) and decrease LDL ("bad" cholesterol), total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label uses of niacin extended-release/simvastatin, such as for preventing cardiovascular disease, strokes, and heart attacks.
Niacin extended-release/simvastatin (Simcor®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is a combination medication and is approved to be used only when treatment with niacin extended-release (Niaspan®) or simvastatin (Zocor®) alone is thought to be inadequate. Niacin extended-release/simvastatin can lower triglycerides and "bad" forms of cholesterol while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol.
Niacin extended-release/simvastatin is a combination medicine of niacin extended-release and simvastatin. Simvastatin is part of a class of drugs called statins. It works 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. It also increases the liver's ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol.
Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is also used as a cholesterol-lowering medicine. It is not completely understood how niacin works. It probably works in several ways to improve cholesterol levels. It is thought that niacin works to increase HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) levels by preventing the liver from removing HDL from the bloodstream. Additionally, niacin seems to decrease the liver's production of LDL and VLDL, two types of "bad" cholesterol. Niacin also helps decrease the release of fatty acids (from body fat) into the bloodstream.
Because of the effects of simvastatin and niacin, the combination medicine can help decrease the following "bad" forms of cholesterol and fats:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
- Apo B cholesterol
- Non-HDL cholesterol
Niacin extended-release/simvastatin also increases HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol).