Zocor® (Simvastatin) and Myopathy
Zocor® is a cholesterol-lowering statin. It is used to reduce the amount of fatty substances such as "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and to increase the amount of "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. All statins, including Zocor® and the generic form simvastatin, carry the risk of myopathy.
Myopathy symptoms and complications
Myopathy is a muscle disease where the muscle fibers do not function for any number of reasons. Myopathy is typically characterized by:
- Unexplained muscle weakness and pain
- Muscle cramps and stiffness
Muscle damage caused by myopathy can be debilitating. When the muscle tissue breaks down, the body must eliminate the excess waste tissue. The mass influx of waste can cause the kidneys to become overloaded, resulting in a more serious form of myopathy called rhabdomyolysis.
Rhabdomyolysis occurs when damaged skeletal muscle tissue fibers break down and the muscle fibers are released into the bloodstream. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Muscle pain
- Dark red or cola-colored urine
Severe instances of rhabdomyolysis may result in death from acute kidney failure if the kidneys are overloaded with excessive muscle tissue called myoglobin. If detected early, rhabdomyolysis may be treated with excessive fluids to help flush the myoglobin out of the kidneys and prevent damage.
Fluids may need to be administered through intravenous (IV) therapy. Patients who suffer from kidney failure as a result of rhabdomyolysis may need kidney dialysis. This is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood and is used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function.
The outlook for people who suffer kidney failure depends on the severity of kidney damage. Patients who receive treatment soon after rhabdomyolysis has been detected have a reduced risk of chronic kidney damage. People with milder cases may return to normal activity within a few weeks or a month. Patients with more severe causes may continue to have problems with fatigue and muscle pain.
Rhabdomyolysis has been linked to other kidney problems, including acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and acute renal failure. ATN is a kidney disorder where the tubular cells of the kidneys are damaged, resulting in kidney failure. It is caused by a lack of oxygen to the kidney tissue.
Acute renal failure is the sudden inability for the kidneys to remove waste and concentrate urine without losing electrolytes. There are various factors that can cause acute renal failure including decreased blood flow to the kidneys.
Contact a Zocor® Attorney Today
If you were prescribed Zocor® or the generic form simvastatin and were diagnosed with myopathy or rhabdomyolysis, you should contact a Zocor® attorney. You may be eligible to file a claim to get compensation for your loss. Our attorneys provide free initial consultations for patients who believe they have may have a claim. We would like to help you.