Simvastatin is the chemical name for the statin drug originally marked under the brand name Zocor. It is now available generically, and at least some independent studies have concluded that its efficacy at reducing cholesterol is equivalent to Lipitor (atorvastatin).[PMID 16442888]
Simvastatin therapy is an example of a statin therapy that has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of coronary events in carriers of the risk allele for SNP rs20455.[PMID 18222353]
However, use of simvastatin may lead to myopathy (muscle damage), especially if the risk alleles of SNPs rs4149056 or rs4363657 are present. A large (>20,000 individuals) 2008 study concluded, for example, that carriers of one rs4149056(C) allele had ~5 fold higher myopathy risk , and carriers of two copies had 17 fold risk, at least when the daily simvastatin dose was either 40 or 80mg.[PMID 18650507]
Some medical centers offer genetic screening tests for patients who have conditions that are often treated with simvastatin, clopidogrel, or warfarin.