Simvastatin is currently used to treat high cholesterol.  It’s being tested for secondary progressive MS in a phase 3 clinical trial.

>> Read more about the latest research

Current phase of trial: phase 3

Type of MS: secondary progressive MS

How does simvastatin work?

We're funding a project at University College London to understand why simvastatin could be beneficial for people with secondary progressive MS.

How is simvastatin taken?

As a tablet, taken daily.

Latest research


>>Read more about MS-STAT2


The trial involved 140 people with secondary progressive MS and compared two doses of simvastatin with a placebo (dummy) drug.

Results were published in the Lancet in March 2014.

Side effects

In MS-STAT, which involved 140 people with secondary progressive MS, simvastatin was generally well tolerated and no-one reported any major side effects.

The phase 3 trial will now monitor the safety of simvastatin in a much larger number of people with MS.

Simvastatin has been used to treat high cholesterol for many years. Commonly reported side effects include: dizziness, fainting, nosebleeds, joint or muscle pain, headache, nausea and digestive problems.

In June 2011 the Food and Drug Administration, which is the US drugs regulator, issued new safety recommendations for simvastatin.

It said that muscle injury (or myopathy) is a risk associated with the 80mg/day higher dose, which will be used MS-STAT2.

How does simvastatin compare with current therapies?

There are no licensed treatments that can slow or stop progression for people with secondary progressive MS.

When is simvastatin likely to become available?

A phase 3 trial will test if simvastatin could become a treatment for secondary progressive MS. This trial will take six years to complete and results are expected in 2023.

We will keep you updated on the progress of simvastatin. 

Back to top

What's new?