Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Simvastatin


Last updated on 19/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Simvastatin 



DRUG CLASS: HMG-CoA Reductase; Cholesterol lowering drug

USED FOR: Elevated blood lipids, prevention of cardiovascular events

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin, Lovastatin, Pravastatin, Rosuvastatin

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 80mg (tablets)

What is Simvastatin for?

Simvastatin is a cholesterol lowering drug that works primarily by blocking the enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, especially in the liver, and hence reduces  cholesterol levels. It is the first-line medication used for hypercholesterolaemia or hyperlipidemia. The detailed indications of Simvastatin include primary hypercholesterolemia or combined (mixed) hyperlipidemia in patients who did not respond adequately to diet and other appropriate measures, homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia in patients who have not responded adequately to diet and other appropriate measures, and prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with cardiovascular disease or at high risk of having a cardiovascular event (e.g. people who smoke, people with diabetes).

How to use it?

Simvastatin is taken by mouth as tablets. Most people take it on a daily basis in the evening. The dose range of Simvastatin is 5 to 80 mg once daily. However, higher doses of 80 mg daily are generally no longer prescribed because of a higher risk of severe muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis). Lower doses are often prescribed in asians and your doctor will typically start with an initial dose of 5 to 20 mg daily. The dose of Simvastatin can be adjusted based on your cholesterol levels.

What are the side effects of Simvastatin?

The most common side effects of Simvastatin are muscle pain, muscle weakness, and shoulder pain. Rare side effects include an increased risk of diabetes, cognitive impairment (inability to focus or remember) and severe muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis).

Who should not take Simvastatin?

– Patients with active liver diseases.
– People allergic to Simvastatin or other ingredients.
Pregnant or nursing mothers or those planning to become pregnant.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Do notify your healthcare provider if you are currently pregnant, intending to become pregnant or are currently a nursing mother.
– If there are any inexplicable muscle pain (not from exercise or injury), report to your healthcare provider immediately.
– Take adequate contraception during and 1 month after therapy if you are a female patient with childbearing potential. 

Common dosing schedule:
Take this medication either at bedtime or with the evening meal. 

Avoid consumption of large amounts of grapefruit and grapefruit juice while you are on this medication. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Simvastatin may interact:
– Antifungals, e.g Itraconazole
– Antibiotics, e.g. Erythromycin
– Antivirals, e.g. Ritonavir
– Blood thinners, e.g. Warfarin
– Fibrates, e.g., Gemfibrozil
– Red rice yeast products

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Simvastatin in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Simvastatin is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Simvastatin in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor. 

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.