Most patients tolerate treatment with ZOCOR well; however, like all
prescription drugs, ZOCOR can cause side effects, and some of them can be serious. Side
effects that do occur are usually mild and short-lived. Only your doctor can weigh the
risks versus the benefits of any prescription drug. In clinical studies with ZOCOR,
less than 1.5% of patients dropped out of the studies because of side effects. In a large,
long-term study, patients taking ZOCOR experienced similar side effects to those patients
taking placebo (sugar pills). Some of the side effects that have been reported with ZOCOR
or related drugs are listed below. This list is not complete. Be sure to ask your
doctor about side effects before taking ZOCOR and to discuss any side effects that occur.
Digestive System: Constipation, diarrhea, upset
stomach, gas, heartburn, stomach pain/cramps, anorexia, loss of appetite, nausea,
inflammation of the pancreas, hepatitis, jaundice, fatty changes in the liver, and,
rarely, severe liver damage and failure, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
Muscle, Skeletal: Muscle cramps, aches, pain, and
weakness; joint pain; muscle breakdown.
Nervous System: Dizziness, headache, insomnia,
tingling, memory loss, damage to nerves causing weakness and/or loss of sensation and/or
abnormal sensations, anxiety, depression, tremor, loss of balance, psychic disturbances.
Skin: Rash, itching, hair loss, dryness, nodules,
Eye/Senses: Blurred vision, altered taste sensation,
progression of cataracts, eye muscle weakness.
Hypersensitivity (Allergic) Reactions: On rare
occasions, a wide variety of symptoms have been reported to occur either alone or together
in groups (referred to as a syndrome) that appeared to be based on allergic-type
reactions, which may rarely be fatal. These have included one or more of the following: a
severe generalized reaction that may include shortness of breath, wheezing, digestive
symptoms, and low blood pressure and even shock; an allergic reaction with swelling of the
face, lips, tongue and/or throat with difficulty swallowing or breathing; symptoms
mimicking lupus (a disorder in which a person's immune system may attack parts of his or
her own body); severe muscle and blood vessel inflammation; bruises; various disorders of
blood cells (that could result in anemia, infection, or blood clotting problems) or
abnormal blood tests; inflamed or painful joints; hives; fatigue and weakness; sensitivity
to sunlight; fever, chills; flushing; difficulty breathing; and severe skin disorders that
vary from rash to a serious burn-like shedding of skin all over the body, including mucous
membranes such as the lining of the mouth.
Other: Loss of sexual desire, breast enlargement,
Laboratory Tests: Liver function test abnormalities
including elevated alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin; thyroid function abnormalities.
NOTE: This summary provides important information about ZOCOR.
If you would like more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist to let you read the
professional labeling and then discuss it with them.