The Food & Drug Administration announced yesterday a new limit on the cholestrol-lowering drug, Zocor; a drug taken by almost 2.1 Americans, according to the Times Union. The drug contains simvastatin, which the FDA says, if given in a high-dose, can have a huge side effect.  The FDA also says, no new patients should be put on the high dosage while existing patients should continue only if they've been on the drug for more than one-year.

Zocor, was approved by the FDA, in 1998, to be given in 80 milligrams doses.  But the agency is now saying such a high-dose, can cause myopathy -- a severe muscle disease.  The new restriction also applies to the drugs Vytorin and Simcor.  Vytorin is a combination drug that also has some formulations that come in 80 milligram doses.  Simcor, also a combination drug, has lower levels of simvastatin, but can react just as, if not worse, when taken with certain blood pressure medicines.

Zocor and Vytorin are both sold by Merck and Schering-Plough.  More information can on those two drugs can be found at the company's website.  Simcor is sold by Abbott Laboratories and can also be found at the company's website.