Dosing With Simvastatin
The recommended starting simvastatin dosage for people with high cholesterol is 20 mg to 40 mg daily. People who have severe kidney disease, who are over the age of 65, or who take certain medications may be prescribed a lower dose. For children, the recommended starting dose is simvastatin 10 mg once daily. Dosing guidelines are based on factors such as the medical condition being treated and other medical conditions you may have.
Simvastatin Dosing: An Introduction
Simvastatin (Zocor®) is used to treat high cholesterol and high triglycerides. It works by blocking an enzyme that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. The dosage of simvastatin your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- The medical condition being treated
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be currently taking
- Your cholesterol goal.
As always, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
What Is the Dose for High Cholesterol?
The recommended starting dose of simvastatin for most people with high cholesterol is simvastatin 20 mg to 40 mg once a day, taken at night. If you are over 65 years of age, have severe kidney disease, or are taking certain other medications your healthcare provider may choose to start you on a lower dose (and may suggest a lower maximum dosage as well).
Some of the medications that interact with simvastatin in such a way to require lower-than-usual simvastatin dosages include:
- Amiodarone (Cordarone®, Pacerone®)
- Amlodipine (Norvasc®)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem®, Cardizem CD®, Cardizem LA®, Cartia XT®, Dilacor XR®, Dilt-CD®, Diltia XT®, Dilt-XR®, Taztia XT®, Tiazac®)
- Lomitapide (Juxtapid®)
- Ranolazine (Ranexa®)
- Verapamil (Calan®, Calan® SR, Covera-HS®, Isoptin SR®, Verelan®, Verelan PM®).
(See Drug Interactions With Simvastatin for more information.)
After several weeks, your healthcare provider will recommend that you return to have your cholesterol levels checked again. If you have not reached your cholesterol goal at this time, your healthcare provider may choose to increase your simvastatin dosage. The dosage can also be decreased if simvastatin side effects occur.
Due to the increased risk of serious muscle problems at higher dosages, the maximum recommended simvastatin dosage is 40 mg per day. However, people who have already been taking 80 mg daily for a year or more with no muscle problems may continue to take that dosage.