Simvastatin (Page 4 of 11)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

Because the below reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is generally not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. The following additional adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of simvastatin: pruritus, alopecia, a variety of skin changes (e.g., nodules, discoloration, dryness of skin/mucous membranes, changes to hair/nails), dizziness, muscle cramps, myalgia, pancreatitis, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy, vomiting, anemia, erectile dysfunction, interstitial lung disease, rhabdomyolysis, hepatitis/jaundice, fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure, and depression.

There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy associated with statin use [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

An apparent hypersensitivity syndrome has been reported rarely which has included some of the following 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.

There have been rare postmarketing reports of cognitive impairment (e.g., memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion) associated with statin use. These cognitive issues have been reported for all statins. The reports are generally nonserious, and reversible upon statin discontinuation, with variable times to symptom onset (1 day to years) and symptom resolution (median of 3 weeks).

7. DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 Strong CYP3A4 Inhibitors, Cyclosporine, or Danazol

Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors: Simvastatin, like several other inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase, is a substrate of CYP3A4. Simvastatin is metabolized by CYP3A4 but has no CYP3A4 inhibitory activity; therefore it is not expected to affect the plasma concentrations of other drugs metabolized by CYP3A4.

Elevated plasma levels of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory activity increases the risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis, particularly with higher doses of simvastatin. [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3).]

Concomitant use of drugs labeled as having a strong inhibitory effect on CYP3A4 is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4)] . If treatment with itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin or telithromycin is unavoidable, therapy with simvastatin must be suspended during the course of treatment.

Cyclosporine or Danazol: The risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis is increased by concomitant administration of cyclosporine or danazol. Therefore, concomitant use of these drugs is contraindicated. [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .

7.2 Lipid-Lowering Drugs That Can Cause Myopathy When Given Alone

Gemfibrozil: Contraindicated with simvastatin [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] .

Other fibrates: Caution should be used when prescribing with simvastatin [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] .

7.3 Amiodarone, Dronedarone, Ranolazine, or Calcium Channel Blockers

The risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, is increased by concomitant administration of amiodarone, dronedarone, ranolazine, or calcium channel blockers such as verapamil, diltiazem, or amlodipine [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Table 3 in Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

7.4 Niacin

Cases of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis have been observed with simvastatin coadministered with lipid-modifying doses (≥1 g/day niacin) of niacin-containing products. The risk of myopathy is greater in Chinese patients. In a clinical trial (median follow-up 3.9 years) involving patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease and with well-controlled LDL-C levels on simvastatin 40 mg/day with or without ezetimibe 10 mg/day, there was no incremental benefit on cardiovascular outcomes with the addition of lipid-modifying doses (≥1 g/day) of niacin. Coadministration of simvastatin with lipid-modifying doses (≥1 g/day) of niacin is not recommended in Chinese patients. It is unknown if this risk applies to other Asian patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Use in Specific Populations (8.8)] .

7.5 Digoxin

In one study, concomitant administration of digoxin with simvastatin resulted in a slight elevation in digoxin concentrations in plasma. Patients taking digoxin should be monitored appropriately when simvastatin is initiated [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .

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