The anti-cholesterol / anti-arrhythmic drug combination of simvastatin and amiodarone has recently been linked to severe muscle damage and other serious side effects. When used together or individually, both medications have been associated with a variety of potentially life-threatening complications.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by Simvastatin-Amiodarone, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Simvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering drug that belongs to the ‘statin‘ group of medications. Drugs from this class are designed to reduce cholesterol by blocking an enzyme in the liver that is believed to be necessary for the production of cholesterol. In the blood, simvastatin lowers total and low density lipoprotein (LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’), as well as triglycerides. LDL is believed to be a primary cause of coronary artery disease (CAD). In addition to lowering LDL, simvastatin also increases the density of high density lipoprotein (HDL, or ‘good cholesterol’), which is thought to slow the advance of CAD. Simvastatin is the active ingredient found in Merck’s Zocor, Abbott Laboratories’ Simcor, and is an essential component in Schering-Plough’s Vytorin.
Side Effects of Simvastatin
Unfortunately, despite its considerable effectiveness as a cholesterol-lowering medication, simvastatin has recently been linked to a number of serious side effects, which have been reported to include:
- muscle damage
- kidney damage
- kidney failure
First discovered in 1961, amiodarone is the generic name for an anti-arrhythmic drug used to reduce heart irregularities. Clinical trials have determined that amiodarone is among the most effective anti-arrhythmic medications on the market, although weaker ones with fewer potential adverse side effects are widely available. Although its precise mechanism of action is still not fully understood by the medical community, amiodarone is thought to work by lengthening a portion of the heart’s electrical activity. In the U.S., amiodarone is manufactured and marketed by Upsher-Smith Laboratories as Pacerone, as well as by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories as Coardarone.
Side Effects of Amiodarone
Although it was first identified in 1961, amiodarone wasn’t approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) until 1985 because it had been suspected of being capable of causing severe health complications in users including:
- Liver damage
- Lung diseases
- Interstitial lung disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Pulmonary toxicity
- Thyroid damage
- Allergic reactions
- Nervous system complications
- Toxic Epidermal Necrosis (TEN)
- Vision damage
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
- Heart arrhythmias
- Sinus arrest
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Cardiogenic shock
- Torsades de pointes
- Bone marrow depression
What’s the Problem with the Simvastatin-Amiodarone Combination?
Despite a number of labeling changes, the FDA continues to receive an abnormally large number of adverse event reports (AERS) associated with the simvastatin-amiodarone drug combination. In 2002, simvastatin drug labels were updated to include a warning indicating that patients who used doses greater than 20 mg. per day in combination with amiodarone were at an increased risk of developing rhabdomyolysis, a rare disease characterized by atrophying skeletal muscle tissue. Then in August 2008, the FDA issued yet another warning for simvastatin medications when used with amiodarone after it received at least 52 new reports of rhabdomyolysis in patients taking the drug combination. In 2011, the FDA again lowered simvastatin’s dose recommendations when combined with amiodarone down to 10 mg. a day, but then reversed itself and brought them back up to 20 mg. per day.
Do I have a Simvastatin-Amiodarone Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Simvastatin-Amiodarone lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by Simvastatin-Amiodarone, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.