I am 56 years old and unfortunately like many others in America have been prescribed statins as a prophylactic means of preventing heart disease and increased cholesterol. I have been prescribed at least 3 or 4 different brands of the cholesterol drugs. However, I have had to discontinue them due to what I can only describe as excruciating muscle pain.
Recently the FDA issued a warning to the medical community as well as consumers concerning risks of muscle damage and Rhabdomyolysis caused by high doses of the cholesterol drug Simvastatin. On June 8, 2011, a drug safety communication was issued noting that the FDA is recommending limited usage of 80 milligrams of Simvastin doses due to the increased risk of muscle damage. Patients taking a Simvastatin dosage of 80 milligrams daily may have an increased risk of myopathy compared to patients taking lower doses of this drug or drugs in the same class. The risk appears to be higher during the first year of treatment and is often the result of interactions with certain medicines and is frequently associated with a genetic predisposition toward Simvastatin-related myopathies.
Myopathy is a muscle disease which often results in muscle pain, tenderness, weakness, or an elevation of muscle enzymes in the blood (creatine kinase or CK). The most serious form of myopathy Zocor can lead to is Rhabdomyolysis which can cause serious and potentially life threatening kidney damage or kidney failure.
The pharmaceutical drug team at Reiff & Bily in conjunction with the Beasley Firm have joined forces to work as the Beasley Reiff Law Group. Our skilled pharmaceutical and Zocor lawyers are now reviewing individual cases. If you are taking the highest approved dose of Zocor, we recommend that you immediately contact your doctor and carefully weigh the risks versus benefits of continued use. Zocor was first approved for use in the United States in 1991 but the patent for the drug expired on June 23, 2006 opening up the markets to generic brands as well. Since then in 2008, the FDA has issued its first warning pertaining to Rhabdomyolysis being linked to Zocor use. In March 2010, the FDA issued two more warnings. In the first warning, it asked healthcare professionals to avoid prescribing Zocor dosages higher than 40mg. where patients were taking other medications and stressed that taking the drug in 80 mg. dosages may also increase the likelihood of patients developing that same disease. Despite those warnings, many doctors and health professionals continue to prescribe the high dose of cholesterol fighting drugs to patients.