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Published: June 1st, 2011
High doses of the cholesterol drug Zocor, or generic simvastatin, have been linked to an increased risk of serious and potentially life threatening muscle problems. The FDA has warned that side effects of Zocor at 80 mg doses may increase the risk of muscle injury, myopathy or rhabdomyolysis.
ZOCOR LAWSUIT STATUS: Potential product liability lawsuits are being reviewed by Zocor lawyers for individuals throughout the United States who have been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, myopathy or severe muscle problems.
OVERVIEW: Zocor (simvastatin) is a synthetic statin developed by Merck & Co., which is now widely available as generic simvastatin. Before patent protections expired in 2005, it was Merck’s best-selling drug and the second best selling cholesterol lowering drug in the world, bringing in $4.3 billion in 2005.
In June 2011, the FDA issued a warning to doctors about potential side effects of Zocor when used at high doses (80 mg), saying that the cholesterol drug may increase the risk of muscle injury or myopathy. The warning came after more than a year of FDA experts reviewing clinical trials on Zocor and other drugs containing simvastatin, which had been available to the manufacturers for some time.
ZOCOR MUSCLE INJURY PROBLEMS: The FDA warns that the 80 mg dose of Zocor carries an increased risk of muscle injury, particularly in the first year of use. The high dose of the medication may cause users to face a risk of myopathy or rhabdomyolysis; rare forms of muscle injury.
Zocor muscle injury side effects may hospitalize about 5 out of every 100,000 people who take the highest dose of the medication. The FDA has urged doctors not to start new patients on 80 mg Zocor and to only give the high dose to patients who have taken it for more than a year without side effects.
Rhabdomyolysis is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, that causes muscle fibers to begin to break down, releasing a protein called myoglobin, which can damage the kidneys as they attempt to filter it out of the bloodstream.
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis from Zocor may include:
- Muscle Cramps
The illness is usually reported in patients over 65 years of age or those who have renal impairment or uncontrolled hypothyroidism.
The FDA has also contraindicated Zocor, Vytorin and Simcor (two drugs that combine Zocor with other cholesterol medications) in combination with a wide variety of other drugs including Cyclosporin, Danazol, Noxafil, Gemcor and Lopid.
FIND OUT IF YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR A ZOCOR LAWSUIT: Free consultations and claim evaluations are provided by lawyers who are reviewing potential Zocor lawsuits throughout the United States. As a result of the drug makers’ failure to adequately warn about the risk of Zocor muscle problems, individuals may be entitled to financial compensation.
Photo via FDA.gov public domain U.S. government work