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Simvastatin Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 4, 2023.

Applies to simvastatin: oral suspension, oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Simvastatin

Along with its needed effects, simvastatin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking simvastatin:

More common

Less common

Incidence not known

Other side effects of Simvastatin

Some side effects of simvastatin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to simvastatin: oral suspension, oral tablet.


The more commonly reported adverse effects have included upper respiratory infection, headache, abdominal pain, constipation, and nausea.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myopathy

Frequency not reported: Elevations in creatine kinase, myopathy, dermatomyositis, arthralgia, tendon rupture

Postmarketing reports: Muscle cramps, myalgia, rhabdomyolysis[Ref]

This drug causes dose-related myopathy which, in rare cases maybe severe and sometimes take the form of rhabdomyolysis with or without renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria; rarely fatalities have occurred. The incidence of myopathy with the 80 mg dose has been reported as disproportionately higher than that observed at lower doses and the risk of myopathy with simvastatin 80 mg/day is greater compared with other statins with similar or greater LDL-C lowering efficacy.[Ref]


Persistent elevations in transaminases of up to 3 times the upper limit of normal (3xULN) have been reported in 1% of patients. With therapy discontinuation or interruption, transaminase levels generally returned to pretreatment levels. There have been rare postmarketing reports of hepatic failure.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Elevations in liver function tests

Frequency not reported: Hepatitis (including chronic active hepatitis), cholestatic jaundice, fatty changes in the liver, cirrhosis, hepatic failure, fulminant hepatic necrosis

Postmarketing reports: Hepatic failure, hepatitis, jaundice[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, gastritis

Frequency not reported: Anorexia

Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis, vomiting[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, leucopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)

Postmarketing reports: Anemia[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, vertigo

Frequency not reported: Cognitive impairment, cranial nerve dysfunction, tremor, vertigo, memory loss, paraesthesias, peripheral neuropathy, peripheral nerve palsy

Postmarketing reports: Dizziness, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy, cognitive impairment (e.g., memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Myoglobinuria, acute renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Angina, edema, atrial fibrillation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Eczema

Frequency not reported: Pruritic rash, erythema multiform including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, photosensitivity, purpura

Postmarketing reports: Pruritus, alopecia, a variety of skin changes (e.g., nodules, discoloration, dryness of skin/mucous membranes, changes to hair/nails)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylaxis, angioedema, urticaria, fever, chills, flushing, malaise, dyspnea

Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity syndrome which has included some of the follow features: anaphylaxis, angioedema, lupus erythematous-like syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, dermatomyositis, vasculitis, purpura, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, positive ANA, ESR increase, eosinophilia, arthritis, arthralgia, urticaria, asthenia, photosensitivity, fever, chills, flushing, malaise, dyspnea, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme including Stevens-Johnson syndrome[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Progression of cataracts, ophthalmoplegia[Ref]


Common (1%to 10%): Insomnia

Postmarketing reports: Depression[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection

Frequency not reported: Impotence, testicular pain, proteinuria

Postmarketing reports: Erectile dysfunction[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Tumor growth, liver, thyroid, lung adenomas, carcinomas[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Diabetes mellitus

Frequency not reported: HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels elevations


Common (1% to 10%): Respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, sinusitis

Postmarketing reports: Interstitial lung disease


Frequency not reported: Asthenia

Frequently asked questions


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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.