Zocor is the name of one of the six cholesterol lowering medications from the group of statins that are available in the United States. The medication was first approved in 1991 and it is now available in doses containing 5mg, 10mg, 40mg or 80mg of simvastatin and other inactive ingredients. Different doses are prescribed to patients to help them lower the level of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, to increase the level of good cholesterol and to reduce the risks of heart attack, stroke and blood vessel problems.
After over the years millions of patients have been prescribed with the drug, in 2011 the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning regarding its safety. The warning refers to the 80mg dose that can develop severe muscle damage. Although all doses could be potentially dangerous, patients prescribed with the highest dose available are exposed to greater risks. Therefore doctors are advised not to prescribe the dose to new patients.
The disease the medication can cause is called myopathy. It is characterized by the abnormal functioning of muscle fibers, a situation which will lead to symptoms including weakness, pain and muscle cramps. In case it is not detected and treated in time, the condition will worsen and turn into rhabdomyolysis. As muscle fibers break down they enter the blood stream, reach the kidney and affect its filtering capacity. If the organ is overloaded, kidney failure might appear.
Treating kidney failure is not impossible but the outcome depends on the severity of the injuries. In severe cases patients will need kidney dialysis or organ transplant and they can even suffer wrongful death. Individuals, who suffered such severe injuries due to a medication and will need complicated, painful, expensive long term treatment, have the right to know who is responsible for their sufferings.
These patients are advised to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the details of their case. If the injuries were indeed caused by the medication, they can file a product liability or a medical negligence lawsuit. In both cases they are eligible to receive financial compensation to cover the costs of treatment, medical care, lost wages and pain and suffering.