Rhabdomyolysis: A Serious Side-Effect of Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
© 2005 - Frank Mangano
Your cholesterol reducing drugs may be causing more than mere muscle pain and soreness. The most popular class of cholesterol lowering drugs, known as statin drugs, come with the explicit warning to report any muscle pain or sore muscles to your doctor immediately. That is because there is a potentially deadly condition known as rhabdomyolysis that can occur with the use of such cholesterol lowering drugs as Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol, and Zocor. All of these statin drugs run this risk.
Rhabdomyolysis is a condition where both muscle protein and myoglobin are released into the blood stream. The break down of proteins and other materials at the cellular level creates toxins that enter the kidneys and can completely shut down the organ in its most extreme cases. Not all patients diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis have muscle pain and weakness, but that is one of the most common symptoms. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, dark urine, fever, and overall fatigue.
To diagnose rhabdomyolysis a blood and/or urine test is required. From the tests, doctors look for high levels of myoglobin. The urine is discolored as a result of muscle proteins in the bloodstream and filtering through the kidneys. Not always are there such specific and obvious symptoms however, so periodic blood tests specifically for rhabdomyolysis should be conducted as long as anyone is on a statin class of cholesterol lowering drug.
Caught early enough, most people can recover fully from the negative impact of rhabdomyolysis. Left unchecked it can lead to renal (kidney) failure and even death. At the very least it impacts the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems. It is also more common in men than in women, but 8-15% of the overall population is affected.
Fortunately there are better ways to manage cholesterol than with a potentially dangerous statin drug. You can find out about lowering cholesterol naturally in The 60 Day Prescription Free Cholesterol Cure.
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