Baycol (cerivastatin), which was initially approved
in the U.S. in 1997, is a member of a class of cholesterol lowering drugs
that are commonly referred to as "statins." Statins lower cholesterol
levels by blocking a specific enzyme in the body that is involved in the
synthesis of cholesterol.
On August 8, 2001, Bayer AG voluntarily withdrew the drug Baycol from
the U.S. market after it caused the deaths of 52 patients. Baycol is a
cholesterol-lowering drug classified as a statin. Essentially, Baycol
blocks an enzyme that creates cholesterol. In a number of cases, patients
developed a debilitating muscle disease known as rhabdomyolysis. This
disease can cause severe pain and potential kidney failure as well as
deterioration of muscle tissues. It is estimated that 700,000 Americans
were taking Baycol when it was removed from the market.
There are three high risk populations for Baycol:
- Elderly patients
- High dosage patients of Baycol
- Patients taking Baycol in conjunction with gemfibrozil
If you are currently taking Baycol, discuss with your doctor whether a
different statin medication is available for you. Patients taking Baycol
in conjunction with gemfibrozil should speak with their doctor immediately
about the potential health risks.