Simvastatin is a drug used in the treatment of dyslipidemia; a condition where the blood has elevated levels of fats. This can become particularly dangerous over the long-term, as this tends to manifest itself later as cardiovascular disease. As a consequence, the patient will be more likely to suffer a condition such as heart attack or stroke due to the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques in their arteries.
Simvastatin is used in the treatment of high cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia. Patients with hypercholesterolemia are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The drug is designed to increase good cholesterol (HDL), while decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL). It does this by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase.
This enzyme - HMG-CoA reductase - is responsible for the direct production of cholesterol in the body, disrupting a vital rate-limiting step. Patients are advised, however, to combine simvastatin use with an adequate diet, exercise, and weight loss program to appreciate the full effects of cholesterol reduction.
Common side effects with simvastatin include headache, constipation, nausea, stomach ache, and cold-like symptoms.