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Rhabdomyolysis

What is Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is a disorder involving injury to the kidney. Rhabdomyolysis is caused by toxic effects of the contents of muscle cells.

What Causes Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis can be caused by any condition that results in damage to skeletal muscle, especially trauma. Rhabdomyolysis is often caused by excessive muscle exercise, electric shock, lightning stroke, hypothyroidism, and heat stroke.

In some cases, possession of a sickle cell trait can be a cause of rhabdomyolysis.

Do prescription drugs cause Rhabdomyolysis?

Scientists believe that some drugs may cause rhabdomyolysis. The drugs in question are

  • cholesterol lowering drugs: clofibrate, crestor, gemfibrozil, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors.
  • drugs causing excessive neuromuscular stimulation: pencyclidine (PCP), and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
  • overdose of heroin

Since its approval by the FDA, Crestor has been linked to cases of rhabdomyolysis and renal failure. If you or a family member have suffered serious side effects or fatal injury after taking Crestor, you or the family member may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Symptoms of Rhabdomyolysis

Some of the most common symptoms of rhabdomyolysis are:

  • dark, red, or cola colored urine color
  • muscle tenderness
  • weakness of the affected muscle(s)
  • generalized weakness
  • muscle stiffness or aching
  • unintentional weight gain
  • seizures
  • joint pain
  • fatigue

Risks of developing Rhabdomyolysis

There are several conditions that can put you at risk for developing rhabdomyolysis. Some of those risks are:

  • severe exertion such as marathon running
  • ischemia or necrosis of the muscles
  • seizures
  • alcoholism
  • low phosphate levels
  • overdose of cocaine, amphetamines, statins, heroin, or PCP
  • trauma
  • shaking chills
  • heat intolerance
  • heat stroke

Complications of Rhabdomyolysis

If not treated properly, rhabdomyolysis may cause life-threatening complications. Rhabdomyolysis can cause acute kidney failure, hyperkalaemia, and a heart attack.

How is Rhabdomyolysis Diagnosed?

If your doctor believes you may have rhabdomyolysis, he will perform several tests on you. Some of the most common tests are urine tests, and blood tests.

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