Zocor and Kidney Damage Side Effects

Zocor kidney damage side effects may have life-threatening consequences for patients. If you have been diagnosed with kidney damage and you are taking Zocor, contact a knowledgeable attorney to explore your compensation options.

The cholesterol drug Zocor has become the subject of significant concern in recent years, due to new information suggesting the medications may be linked to kidney damage in patients. Zocor (simvastatin) belongs to a class of prescription drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), which function by reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the blood. Zocor has been available in the U.S. since it garnered FDA approval in 1991, and is currently manufactured by drug firm Merck & Co. Zocor is commonly prescribed to patients in order to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and other heart problems in patients with diabetes, coronary heart disease, and other risk factors. Despite the fact that Zocor and other statin drugs are widely prescribed to patients with elevated cholesterol, new information about kidney damage side effects linked to the medication has raised serious doubts about the safety of Zocor. If you took Zocor to treat your high cholesterol and have since experienced a kidney damage side effect, contact a Zocor attorney for help.

Kidney Damage Symptoms

The function of the kidneys is, among other things, to remove waste products that result from the body's metabolism. The kidneys remove wastes by extracting them from the blood and sending them along the ureter to the bladder, at which point they are excreted in the urine. Unfortunately, if the kidney structures become blocked in some way, the kidneys may become damaged and begin to fail.
One of the major causes of kidney damage and kidney failure is rhabdomyolysis, a severe form of myopathy (muscle injury) which is characterized by the breakdown of muscle fibers in the body. When these muscle fibers are broken down, they release muscle fiber contents called myoglobin into the bloodstream, to be filtered out by the kidneys. Unfortunately, myoglobin breaks down into potentially harmful compounds which can prevent the kidneys from functioning properly, potentially resulting in kidney damage, kidney failure and even death. Kidney failure may be diagnosed in patients exhibiting symptoms like:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Generalized swelling


Zocor Side Effect Studies and FDA Warnings

In recent years, an increasing number of FDA warnings have been issued regarding the potential for the statin drug Zocor to cause serious side effects among patients. In 2010, the FDA issued a warning to patients and healthcare professionals about the potential increased risk of muscle injury associated with the cholesterol-lowering medication, Zocor 80mg. Although myopathy is a known side effect of all statins, the FDA announcement specifically highlighted the increased risk of muscle injury, particularly rhabdomyolysis, in patients taking higher doses of Zocor.

In June 2011, the FDA announced new safety recommendations for high-dose Zocor, because the highest approved dose – 80mg – was associated with an increased risk of myopathy, or muscle injury, especially during the first 12 months of use. After reviewing this side effect risk, the FDA recommended that Zocor 80mg only be used in patients who have been taking this high dose for 12 months or more and have experienced no muscle toxicity. The FDA also advised that Zocor 80mg not be used in new patients. This FDA decision was based on the agency's evaluation of the results of observational studies, clinical trials and adverse event reports, all of which showed that patients taking Zocor 80mg daily had an increased risk of muscle damage, compared to patients taking a lower dose of the drug or other statins.

Zocor Attorneys for Kidney Damage Side Effects

Despite the fact that Zocor use may result in serious side effects, including life-threatening kidney damage or kidney failure, it is estimated that 24 million people in the United States alone use the statin drug. If you or a loved one has suffered from a kidney damage side effect and you believe Zocor to be the cause, contact a Zocor attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file a Zocor lawsuit against Merck & Co. in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, and you should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. By hiring a qualified Zocor lawyer to represent your case, you can protect your rights and hold the allegedly negligent drug company liable for your injuries.

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