Zocor Lawsuits: Merck’s Cholesterol Drug Linked To Muscle Damage Injury Rhabdomyolysis

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Merck & Company’s cholesterol lowering drug Zocor has been linked to liver, kidney and muscle damage – as well as a condition known as Rhabdomyolisis when taken at higher doses. Merck now faces numerous Zocor lawsuits as a result.

Zocor Side Effects / Zocor Injuries

Zocor, a statin drug approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol, has many side effects including liver, kidney and muscle damage.

Recently, it’s been shown that higher doses of Zocor increase the risk of muscle damage which can also lead to something called rhabdomyolysis – which is the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream and can damage the kidneys as well. If it’s not discovered or treated early enough, it can lead to kidney failure and potentially death. In fact, kidney failure apparently develops in about 30 to 40 percent of the patients who develop the condition.

Zocor Lawsuits: Baycol Litigation Should Have Put Merck On Notice

Zocor warnings weren’t accurate to inform doctors regarding the dose of Zocor that is relatively safe and the dose of Zocor that is harmful. In fact, doctors were prescribing it in such high amounts that it led to an increased risk of developing rhabdomyolysis – yet they were unaware of that risk. At the end of the day, it’s all about doctors weighing the risks versus the benefits of the drug in treating their patients. However, if they’re not aware of the risks, then they’re not fully informed – which is the drug company’s responsibility.

There had been previous litigation regarding Baycol, also a cholesterol drug, but made by Bayer AG. That litigation put other drug companies on notice that there was a problem with this class of drugs. However, despite the Baycol litigation – which was six to eight years ago – the warnings about Zocor side effects were still unclear. So, the issue is really whether or not doctors could make an informed decision regarding the risks and benefits and explain that to their patient – and until very recently, they could not.

Basically, Zocor lawyers say that Merck – which also makes Januvia and Fosamax – should have known about the risks of developing Zocor side effects and should have done more studies to figure out proper dosages. In fact, they say that Merck knew about those risks for some time. While there was a labeling change on all these medications many years ago, the manufacturer should have warned doctors as well. Unfortunately, while doctors may have known something, they didn’t know the whole story – which has resulted in numerous Zocor lawsuits.

Zocor Lawsuits: Hiring A Zocor Attorney

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, whether or not it leads to kidney failure or not, and were taking a dose of 80 milligrams or more, contact a Zocor lawyer to discuss your situation and find out whether you might be entitled to compensation.

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