Simvastatin belongs to the class of drugs called lipid-lowering agents and statins. Simvastatin is used to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Too high cholesterol levels (mainly LDL cholesterol) can lead to atherosclerotic diseases such as coronary heart disease or myocardial infarctions.

Simvastatin requires a prescription and is administered in tablet form.



The effect of simvastatin results from inhibition of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme is significantly involved in the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. The inhibition therefore results in an overall lower cholesterol level in the blood. Indirectly, the reduced synthesis also increases the number of receptors for LDL cholesterol in the body's cells, as a result of which LDL cholesterol in particular is more readily absorbed from the blood into the cells.


The oral bioavailability of simvastatin is only about 5%. However, this value is irrelevant in the case of simvastatin, since the drug's site of action is the liver. Thus, 100% of the given dose reaches the desired target. The highest plasma concentration is reached after about 1.5-2.5 hours. Approximately 95% of the substance is bound in the blood. The majority of the substance is broken down in the liver via the CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 enzymes and excreted in the urine (40%) and stool (60%). The elimination half-life is approximately 4 hours.

Drug interactions

All drugs interacting with CYP3A4 may lead to increased plasma levels of simvastatin, resulting in serious side effects.


Side effects

Typical side effects include:

  • Upper abdominal discomfort
  • transaminase increase (liver enzymes)
  • myopathies (muscle damage)

These side effects occur rarely and are most common when there is an overdose or interaction with other drugs.

Toxicological data

LD50 (rat, oral): 4438 mg-kg-1

Chemical & physical properties

ATC Code C10AA01
Formula C25H38O5
Molar Mass (g·mol−1) 418,57
Physical State solid
Melting Point (°C) 127–132
CAS Number 79902-63-9
PUB Number 54454
Drugbank ID DB00641

Editorial principles

All information used for the content comes from verified sources (recognised institutions, experts, studies by renowned universities). We attach great importance to the qualification of the authors and the scientific background of the information. Thus, we ensure that our research is based on scientific findings.
Markus Falkenstätter, BSc

Markus Falkenstätter, BSc

Markus Falkenstätter is a writer on pharmaceutical topics in Medikamio's medical editorial team. He is in the last semester of his pharmacy studies at the University of Vienna and loves scientific work in the field of natural sciences.

Mag. pharm. Stefanie Lehenauer

Mag. pharm. Stefanie Lehenauer

Stefanie Lehenauer has been a freelance writer for Medikamio since 2020 and studied pharmacy at the University of Vienna. She works as a pharmacist in Vienna and her passion is herbal medicines and their effects.

The content of this page is an automated and high-quality translation from DeepL. You can find the original content in German here.


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