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Experienced Counsel for Victims of Rhabdomyolysis

Many Illinois residents depend on prescribed medications to combat serious illnesses and chronic medical conditions. We trust what drugs our doctors tell us to take and their recommended dosages.

Unfortunately, medical providers may make errors that greatly harm the health of their patients, leading to serious syndromes such as rhabdomyolysis.

At the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid, our personal injury attorneys have experience fighting for the victims of rhabdomyolysis. We understand this serious condition, its causes and how to best support your case. If you or a loved one suffer from rhabdomyolysis, call 630-848-9294.

What Is Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life-threatening syndrome caused from the breakdown of skeletal muscle fibers. As the fibers come apart, the protein myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. An oversaturation of myoglobin can permanently damage your kidneys or even result in death.

About 26,000 cases of rhabdomyolysis are reported in the United States every year. The initial symptoms can be difficult to diagnose since they may be subtle or may mimic other medical conditions. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis can include muscle weakness (especially in the legs and arms), low urine levels, fatigue, muscle soreness and dark-colored urine.

How Is Rhabdomyolysis Diagnosed?

Your doctor will examine the larger skeletal muscles in your body to check for tenderness. They may also perform urine and blood tests to confirm a diagnosis. Tests to determine muscle and kidney health may include:

  • Creatine kinase (CK)
  • Myoglobin in blood and urine
  • Potassium
  • Creatinine in blood and urine

Elevated levels of these substances signal muscle damage.

What Can Cause Rhabdomyolysis?

One cause of rhabdomyolysis is prescription medications, especially statin medications. Statin medications are popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, including:

  • Simvastatin (Zocor)
  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev)

Other non-statin drugs that can also cause rhabdomyolysis include:

  • Cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
  • Colchicine (Colcrys, Gloperba, Mitigare)
  • Erythromycin
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • Ketoconazole
  • Voriconazole (Vfend)
  • Ritonavir (Norvir)

Can Drugs Interact With Each Other to Cause Rhabdomyolysis?

Absolutely! Doctors routinely prescribe drugs, drugs, and then more drugs to treat many of their patients, but especially to treat our aging population. Unfortunately, some doctors do not take the time to understand how those medications can dangerously interact with each other to cause severe injury, including rhabdomyolysis.

The body uses the CYP3A4a enzyme to metabolize many of the drugs listed above. If a doctor prescribes another drug that also uses that same enzyme, the risk of suffering from rhabdomyolysis significantly increases. The levels of those medications in the body can continue to rise until they reach a toxic level when they start destroying muscle tissue. Other drugs are known to prevent or block the CYP3A4 enzyme from working at all, causing the same toxic levels and Rhabdomyolysis.

Below are just some of the medications that can dangerously interact with other drugs listed above that can cause rhabdomyolysis:

  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • Amiodarone (Nexterone, Pacerone)
  • Nefazodone
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem)
  • Midazolam (Nayzilam)
  • Verapamil (Calan, Verelan)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Niacin
  • Digoxin (Digitek, Digox, Lanoxin)
  • Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
  • Mibefradil
  • Ezetimibe (Zetia)
  • Fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor)
  • Fenofibric acids (Fibricor, Trilipix)

Contact the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid for Assistance

At Mathys & Schneid, our skilled medical malpractice attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience. We understand how to develop a strong case strategy that proves negligence and helps you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve under Illinois law.

Cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not owe us any fees unless we recover compensation. Contact our Naperville office online or call 630-848-9294 today.