Pravachol Lawsuit

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Bristol-Myers Squibb’s widely-prescribed statin cholesterol drug Pravachol (generic: pravastatin) has recently been linked to muscle damage, myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, kidney failure, type 2 diabetes and death. Such possible contraindications are touted by the manufacturer as being very ‘rare,’ and are thus ignored by many patients. For the unfortunate victims who experience these horrible side effects, ‘rare’ is a meaningless term.

Pravachol Overview

Manufactured and marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pravachol is a popular cholesterol-lowering statin drug that blocks the production of cholesterol in the body. The medication is designed to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood, which can help prevent heart disease and hardening of the arteries. It is typically prescribed to treat high cholesterol, and to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and other complications in patients with coronary heart disease. Pravachol was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in April 1996.

Pravachol Side Effects

Unfortunately, over the past several years, Pravachol and other similar statin drugs have been increasingly linked to the following serious side effects:

  • muscle damage
  • myopathy
  • kidney damage
  • kidney failure (also known as renal failure)
  • rhabdomyolysis
  • type 2 diabetes
  • death

Pravachol & Myopathy

Since statin medications first hit the market, there have been reports linking the drugs to an increased risk of muscle weakness and soreness known as myopathy. The FDA recently reviewed clinical trials and adverse event reports, and found that the higher the dose of statin medication, the greater frequency of myopathy and other serious muscle injuries. Symptoms of myopathy may include:

  • cramping
  • pain
  • paralysis
  • rigidity
  • stiffness
  • swelling
  • wasting (atrophy)
  • weakness

Pravachol & Rhabdomyolysis

One of the most commonly reported health complications to be associated with Pravachol is rhabdomyolysis, a condition characterized by the breakdown and release of muscle fibers into the bloodstream. If left untreated, this muscle fiber release can result in severe kidney damage. Signs and symptoms of Pravachol-induced rhabdomyolysis may include:

  • dark or tea-colored urine
  • blood in the urine
  • passing too little or no urine at all
  • bruising of muscles
  • fast heartbeats
  • mental confusion
  • easy irritation
  • nausea (feeling sick to the stomach)
  • vomiting (throwing up)
  • trouble breathing

Pravachol Kidney Injuries

The kidneys play a fundamental role in the body’s ability to function correctly, not only by filtering the blood and getting rid of waste products, but also by balancing levels of electrolytes in the body, controlling blood pressure, and stimulating the production of red blood cells. In a person with rhabdomyolysis, there is a significant amount of muscle breakdown in the body, and the degeneration of muscle fibers into the bloodstream may cause the kidneys to become clogged. If left untreated, this situation can lead to kidney failure. Signs and symptoms of Pravachol-induced kidney failure may include:

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • weight loss
  • nocturnal urination
  • more or less frequent urination habits
  • itching
  • bone damage
  • muscle cramps
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • muscle paralysis
  • swelling of the legs, ankles, feet or hands
  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure

What other statin drugs can cause these side effects?

In addition to Pravachol, other potentially dangerous cholesterol medications from the statin class include:

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