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Simvastatin and Depression

A number of side effects have been reported with simvastatin. Depression is a rare side effect that has been reported in less than 1 percent of people taking the medication. Some of the potential symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness and pessimism, decreased energy, and thoughts of death or suicide. If you are taking this drug and depression symptoms occur, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Can Simvastatin Cause Depression?

Side effects are possible when taking simvastatin (Zocor®). One rare side effect, occurring in less than 1 percent of people who take the drug, is depression. Given how infrequently depression occurs in people taking simvastatin, however, it is difficult to say whether this is actually caused by the medicine itself or something else. This is especially true because in any given one-year period, 9.5 percent of the population (or about 18.8 million American adults) suffers from depression.

Simvastatin and Depression: What to Look For

Some possible symptoms of depression include:
  • A persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, and being "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss; overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.
Keep in mind that other conditions can share similar symptoms with depression. If you experience any of these symptoms while taking simvastatin, you should visit your healthcare provider so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated.
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