Currently Enrolling Trials
Zocor (simvastatin) is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin)
Zocor is specifically indicated as an adjunctive therapy to diet to:
- Reduce the risk of total mortality by reducing CHD deaths and reduce the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and the need for revascularization procedures in patients at high risk of coronary events.
- Reduce elevated total-C, LDL-C, Apo B, TG and increase HDL-C in patients with primary hyperlipidemia (heterozygous familial and nonfamilial) and mixed dyslipidemia.
- Reduce elevated TG in patients with hypertriglyceridemia and reduce TG and VLDL-C in patients with primary dysbeta-lipoproteinemia.
- Reduce total-C and LDL-C in adult patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.
- Reduce elevated total-C, LDL-C, and Apo B in boys and postmenarchal girls, 10 to 17 years of age with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia after failing an adequate trial of diet therapy
Zocor is supplied as tablets for oral administration. The recommended dose range is 5 to 40 mg/day. The recommended usual starting dose is 10 or 20 mg once a day in the evening.
- The recommended starting dose for patients at high risk of CHD is 40 mg/day.
- Due to the increased risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, use of the 80-mg dose of Zocor should be restricted to patients who have been taking simvastatin 80 mg chronically (e.g., for 12 months or more) without evidence of muscle toxicity.
- Patients who are currently tolerating the 80-mg dose of Zocor who need to be initiated on an interacting drug that is contraindicated or is associated with a dose cap for simvastatin should be switched to an alternative statin with less potential for the drug-drug interaction.
- Due to the increased risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, associated with the 80-mg dose of Zocor, patients unable to achieve their LDL-C goal utilizing the 40-mg dose of Zocor should not be titrated to the 80-mg dose, but should be placed on alternative LDL-C-lowering treatment(s) that provides greater LDL-C lowering.
- Adolescents (10-17 years of age) with HeFH: starting dose is 10 mg/day; maximum recommended dose is 40 mg/day
Mechanism of Action
Zocor (simvastatin) is a prodrug and is hydrolyzed to its active B-hydroxyacid form, simvastatin acid, after administration. Simvastatin is a specific inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, an early and rate limiting step in the biosynthetic pathway for cholesterol. In addition, simvastatin reduces VLDL and TG and increases HDL-C.
Adverse effects associated with the use of Zocor may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- upper respiratory infection
- abdominal pain
Clinical Trial Results
Reductions in Risk of CHD Mortality and Cardiovascular Events
The effect of therapy with Zocor on total mortality was assessed in 4,444 patients with CHD and baseline total cholesterol 212-309 mg/dL (5.5-8.0 mmol/L). In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients were treated with standard care, including diet, and either Zocor 20-40 mg/day (n=2,221) or placebo (n=2,223) for a median duration of 5.4 years. Over the course of the study, treatment with Zocor led to mean reductions in total-C, LDL-C and TG of 25%, 35%, and 10%, respectively, and a mean increase in HDL-C of 8%. Zocor significantly reduced the risk of mortality by 30% (182 deaths in the ZOCOR group vs 256 deaths in the placebo group). The risk of CHD mortality was significantly reduced by 42% (111 vs 189 deaths). There was no statistically significant difference between groups in non-cardiovascular mortality. Zocor significantly decreased the risk of having major coronary events (CHD mortality plus hospital-verified and silent non-fatal myocardial infarction [MI]) by 34% (431 vs 622 patients with one or more events). The risk of having a hospital-verified non-fatal MI was reduced by 37%. Zocor significantly reduced the risk for undergoing myocardial revascularization procedures (coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) by 37% (252 vs 383 patients). Zocor significantly reduced the risk of fatal plus non-fatal cerebrovascular events (combined stroke and transient ischemic attacks) by 28% (75 vs 102 patients). Zocor reduced the risk of major coronary events to a similar extent across the range of baseline total and LDL cholesterol levels. Because there were only 53 female deaths, the effect of Zocor on mortality in women could not be adequately assessed. However, Zocor significantly lessened the risk of having major coronary events by 34% (60 vs 91 women with one or more event). The randomization was stratified by angina alone (21% of each treatment group) or a previous MI. Because there were only 57 deaths among the patients with angina alone at baseline, the effect of Zocor on mortality in this subgroup could not be adequately assessed. However, trends in reduced coronary mortality, major coronary events and revascularization procedures were consistent between this group and the total study cohort. Additionally, Zocor resulted in similar decreases in relative risk for total mortality, CHD mortality, and major coronary events in elderly patients (≥65 years), compared with younger patients.
The Heart Protection Study (HPS) was a large, multi-center, placebo-controlled, double-blind study with a mean duration of 5 years conducted in 20,536 patients (10,269 on Zocor 40 mg and 10,267 on 17 placebo). Patients were allocated to treatment using a covariate adaptive method which took into account the distribution of 10 important baseline characteristics of patients already enrolled and minimized the imbalance of those characteristics across the groups. Patients had a mean age of 64 years (range 40-80 years), were 97% Caucasian and were at high risk of developing a major coronary event because of existing CHD (65%), diabetes (Type 2, 26%; Type 1, 3%), history of stroke or other cerebrovascular disease (16%), peripheral vessel disease (33%), or hypertension in males ≥65 years (6%). At baseline, 3,421 patients (17%) had LDL-C levels below 100 mg/dL, of whom 953 (5%) had LDL-C levels below 80 mg/dL; 7,068 patients (34%) had levels between 100 and 130 mg/dL; and 10,047 patients (49%) had levels greater than 130 mg/dL. The HPS results showed that Zocor 40 mg/day significantly reduced: total and CHD mortality; nonfatal MI, stroke, and revascularization procedures (coronary and non-coronary).
Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia
In a controlled clinical study, 12 patients 15-39 years of age with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia received simvastatin 40 mg/day in a single dose or in 3 divided doses, or 80 mg/day in 3 divided doses. In 11 patients with reductions in LDL-C, the mean LDL-C changes for the 40- and 80-mg doses were 14% (range 8% to 23%, median 12%) and 30% (range 14% to 46%, median 29%), respectively. One patient had an increase of 15% in LDL-C. Another patient with absent LDL-C receptor function had an LDL-C reduction of 41% with the 80-mg dose.
Clinical Studies in Adolescents
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 175 patients (99 adolescent boys and 76 post-menarchal girls) 10-17 years of age (mean age 14.1 years) with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) were randomized to simvastatin (n=106) or placebo (n=67) for 24 weeks (base study). Inclusion in the study required a baseline LDL-C level between 160 and 400 mg/dL and at least one parent with an LDL-C level >189 mg/dL. The dosage of simvastatin (once daily in the evening) was 10 mg for the first 8 weeks, 20 mg for the second 8 weeks, and 40 mg thereafter. In a 24-week extension, 144 patients elected to continue therapy with simvastatin 40 mg or placebo. Zocor significantly decreased plasma levels of total-C, LDL-C, and Apo B. After 24 weeks of treatment, the mean achieved LDL-C value was 124.9 mg/dL (range: 64.0- 289.0 mg/dL) in the Zocor 40 mg group compared to 207.8 mg/dL (range: 128.0-334.0 mg/dL) in the placebo group.