Zocor is a drug used to lower cholesterol and help prevent stroke and other heart issues, primarily in those already suffering from diabetes, hypercholesterolemia (a genetic condition) or other high risk conditions. Known by the generic name Simvastatin, Zocor is one of a group of inductase inhibitors. Despite a debate over the best use of these drugs, Zocor or Simvastatin was originally the most widely used drug in that class for clinical practices. These drugs are prescribed to adults or children over 10 and help to reduce "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. They can also help increase blood flow in people with certain conditions, alleviating a need for surgery.
Zocor can be taken in tablet form by mouth and is usually prescribed to the patient to be taken each evening. The initial prescription is usually a low dose that the doctor can increase gradually over a period of months, if necessary.
Side effects or Zocor include headache, nausea, constipation and stomach pain and should be reported to the doctor if they persist and/or become severe. Other symptoms that could occur within the first few days of beginning a regimen of Zocor include rash, fever, itching, joint pain, dark red urine, muscle pain or lack of energy. The appearance of any of these symptoms mean the patient should immediately stop taking the drug and report the symptom to his or her doctor.
Also, Zocor is not advised for those allergic to Simvastatin, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding or those with liver disease. Zocor has been known to cause birth defects.
Zocor was introduced in the pharmaceutical market in the 1980's, after being developed in 1979 as a more effective version of the original enzyme inhibitor, discovered by scientists at the Max Planck Institute. Marketed by Merck & Co., the U.S. patent for Zocor expired in 2006, when the generic versions became prevalent. The generic versions are still widely prescribed. Prior to the loss of the patent, Zocor was the largest selling drug for Merck & Co. and the second most common drug for its purpose in the world.
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