Zocor Side Effects - FDA Warning
Zocor is a statin drug manufactured by Merck and also widely available as the generic Simvastatin. The statin Zocor is prescribed to help lower levels of cholesterol in persons when changes in when diet and exercise are not enough. Zocor has become a bestselling drug for Merck, bringing in $4.3 billion in 2005 alone. Simvastatin is also used in combination drugs Vytorin and Simcor to treat high cholesterol.
High doses of Simvastatin have now been linked to several serious and potentially life threatening side effects. In June 2011 the Food and Drug Administration announced a new warning that the 80mg dosage of Zocor increases the risk of muscle injury, muscle weakening, myopathy, and rhabdomyolysis.
In their June 2011 announcement, the FDA recommended that no new patients should start on an 80mg Zocor course of treatment because of the higher risks of Zocor side effects. Patients are most at risk from muscle damage and Zocor side effects during their first year of 80mg Zocor use. So the FDA advised that patients who have been on the statin Simvastatin for over a year to continue with their Zocor medication.
The June 2011 Zocor warning requires the makers of Zocor and Simvastatin to change their recommendation labels to reflect the increased risk of Zocor side effects including myopathy, Rhabdomyolysis, and others.
Earlier FDA Zocor warnings
In March 2010 the FDA issued a warning to consumers and doctors that there was an ongoing safety review of the risks associated with high-dose Zocor and muscle injury side effects. The FDA referenced several clinical trials that researched the relationship between 80mg Zocor use and muscle injury.
Myopathy is known to be a possible side effect with all statin medications including Zocor and Simvastatin. Patients who experience myopathy caused by Zocor experience muscular pain and weakness. The danger of developing myopathy greatly increases with higher doses of the statin Zocor.
A more severe form of myopathy that can be cause by high-dose Zocor treatment is called Rhabdomyolysis. This Zocor side effect can happen when myoglobin (a protein) is released when muscle fibers weaken and damages the patient’s kidneys. Rhabdomyolysis caused by Zocor can lead to kidney failure and even result in death.
The side effects associated with Zocor and Simvastatin include
The FDA first warned about the dangers of Rhabdomyolysis from the use of statins like Zocor in 2002. The FDA cautioned doctors to not administer over 20mg of Zocor a day to patients taking certain heart medications that contained amiodarone, including Cordarone and Pacerone. Further warnings from the FDA in 2008 and 2009 linked Zocor to severe side effects such as Rhabdomyolysis when Zocor is taken with drugs containing amiodarone and another drug, Cardizem.
Statins like Zocor are also linked to an increased risk of causing the heart condition cardiomyopathy. Zocor and other statins can cause a decrease in a patient’s level of coenzyme Q10 which can cause the heart muscle to not function properly. Persons experiencing cardiomyopathy caused by Zocor can have cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac arrest.
Another side effect attributed to high-doses of Zocor is liver disease. Studies conducted at the Mayo Clinic indicate that Zocor and other statins can cause an increase of liver enzymes. In some patients taking Zocor this increase of liver enzymes can cause permanent liver damage.
If you or a loved one has taken Zocor and experienced any Lexapro side effects including myopathy, Rhabdomyolysis, liver damage, or heart problems, you should contact a Zocor Lawsuit Attorney to learn about your rights. Side effects caused by Zocor use are dangerous and can lead to expensive medical treatments. You may be eligible for compensation for your Zocor side effects to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
By contacting us today, you can receive a Free Zocor Case Review by a Zocor Attorney that knows pharmaceutical litigation.
Copyright Calliope Media, Inc. © 2011 --- All Rights Reserved.