What is rhabdomyolysis? What are the symptoms? How is it treated?
Rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo) occurs when damaged skeletal muscles leak a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream. Skeletal muscles are the muscles related to bodily movement at the joints. When they are traumatized by some injury or other cause, they release the contents of their cells, including myoglobin. Myoglobin can then poison the kidneys and cause severe damage.
Symptoms include muscle pain and stiffness, weakness, and dark urine, although there are many other symptoms that might arise. Rhabdomyolysis can be diagnosed with simple blood and urine testing.
While it is possible in some cases to recover fully from rhabdomyolysis, the condition can also cause severe complications, including kidney failure, insufficient blood supply, and death. For this reason, if you suspect you may have rhabdo, you should get medical help immediately.
Rhabdomyolysis and Cholesterol Drugs Zocor and Vytorin
In June 2011, the FDA published a safety alert connecting 80mg doses of simvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, to rhabdomyolysis. Simvastatin is sold under the brand names Zocor and Vytorin, and in 80mg doses can increase patients' risk for rhabdo. The FDA states that rhabdo risks appear to run higher for patients during the first year of using Zocor or Vytorin.
The FDA further describes rhabdo risks as higher for patients taking other medications along with Zocor and Vytorin.
If you or a loved one have taken Zocor or Vytorin and have rhabdomyolysis or myopathy, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us to speak with an attorney at no charge about your case. We'd be glad to answer any questions you might have.