A new study from the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine suggests that simvastatin, also known as the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor, may interfere with sleep patterns: “people who took the statin drug Zocor or simvastatin found they had significantly worse sleep quality compared with people who took Pravachol or pravastatin, another cholesterol-lowering drug.” Simvastatin is fat soluble, which means it can more easily penetrate cell membranes and mess with brain chemistry.
Incidentally, Zocor is the cholesterol-lowering drug that recently lost its patent protection, leading to a burst of business for the generic version of simvastatin and a steep drop-off in profits for competitor and market leader Lipitor. (For the record, Lipitor is a third kind of statin, called atorvastatin.) Pfizer, the maker of Lipitor, has been trying hard to persuade consumers to not switch to generic Zocor—maybe now they have a new bit of ammo to use in their argument, at least for those who aren’t getting any rest.
“Sleepless? Maybe it’s your statin” [Reuters]