Zocor® has been found by an FDA review of many studies to cause myopathy, which is a condition characterized by muscle pain and weakness. On rare occasions, however, it causes rhabdomyolysis, a severe potentially lethal form of myopathy.
Rhabdomyolysis is a rare muscle disorder. It is a breakdown of muscle tissue which releases toxic substances into the bloodstream and the body. These substances, when they travel to the kidneys, clog the tubules, potentially causing kidney failure and death. The tubules collect and filter the fluid sent to the kidneys.
FDA Warnings about Zocor® Problems
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been issuing warnings over the past several years, cautioning that the highest dose of Zocor®, which is 80 mg/day, has been linked to myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. The last alert, published earlier this year, recommended that the 80 mg dose of the drug be strictly limited only to certain patients.
If rhabdomyolysis is to occur, it usually happens early on when a patient begins taking the drug. Therefore, if a patient has been able to take Zocor® for at least a year without any serious adverse effects, he or she may continue on the 80 mg/day dose, the FDA alert said. All others, however, should be taking lower doses of the medication.
This warning applies to people just starting on the drug or to people who have been on a lower dose for a period of time and whose doctors are considering raising their dosages. Patients in both these groups should not be prescribed the 80 mg dose, the FDA recommended.
According to Eric Colman, M.D., deputy director of the FDA's Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, the FDA does not want patients to stop taking the medication without talking to their doctors.
"The benefits of the treatment far outweigh the risks," he says, commenting that the occurrences of rhabdomyolysis are "extremely rare."
But, if patients experiencing the following, they should be sure to talk with their physicians:
- Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
- Dark or red-colored urine
- Unexplained fatigue
Contact Our Zocor® Attorneys Today
If you are one of the over 2.1 million patients who took Zocor® in the last year at the 80 mg dose, and you have these symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, it is important to first speak with your doctor. If you discover you have this serious muscle disorder, you should contact an attorney to find out if you qualify to seek compensation for your suffering. Our attorneys are well versed in the side effects of Zocor® and know how to help patients who have suffered from taking this potentially dangerous medication.
To schedule a free case review with a skilled and qualified Zocor® attorney, please contact us today.