Rhabdomyolysis, Rare Muscle Problem for Statin Users

The men and women who are at risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke because of high cholesterol is now able to lessen the risk by taking statins, health reports say. However, patients need to be aware of the new safety information on these medications that help lower the cholesterol levels, according to the Food and Drug Administration. One of the pressing issues is the risk of muscle damage like rhabdomyolysis present among individuals taking these medications. In the recent safety information released by the FDA, taking statins together with certain medications may increase the risk of damaging the muscles.

The breakdown of muscle fibers or rhabdomyolysis is life –threatening for patients. As muscle cells breakdown, myoglobin (a protein found in the muscles tissue that binds with oxygen) is released in the bloodstream. It is removed from the body through the help of the kidneys. The rise of myoglobin levels in the body might lead to the damage of the kidneys.

Possible signs of rhabdomyolysis may include:

– Dark colored urine

– Muscle weakness

– Aching of muscles all over the body

Patients who are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms need to notify their health care providers immediately. They may be advised to stop taking their statins to prevent further damage to the kidney. If kidney damage is already suspected, prompt treatment may be needed. A dialysis may be started if the kidney is already failing. Electrolyte imbalance, compartment syndrome, acute kidney injury, hyperuricemia, hyperalbuminemia and renal failure are possible health complications. Severe kidney damage may result to disseminated intravascular coagulation or the formation of blood clots in the small blood vessels in different areas of the body.

The use of statin is indeed regarded as a miracle for those who have elevated cholesterol levels, but the risks that patients may need to face are also heavy. The development of muscle problems among patients taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs has initiated several studies focusing on the possible side effects. However, the FDA still stands to support the use of statins and advises patients not to be afraid of the new information. Dr Amy G. Egan, deputy director for safety of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products of the FDA, shared that statins remain as a valuable tool in preventing heart disease but need to be taken with consideration of the possible side effects. The Lipitor lawyer was consulted by patients who wished to file claims against the pharmaceutical company because of the side effects they have experienced.

The author of this article focuses on the negative effects of using statins as primary intervention in fighting heart diseases. The Lipitor Lawsuit Center at lipitorlawyer.us may also be consulted for additional information on the cases filed by patients.

This article is copyright free.

Author: Kathleen Hennis