Simvastatin is the active ingredient of Zocor, one of the six cholesterol lowering medications from the group of statins. It is prescribed not just to lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood but also to increase the level of good cholesterol and to reduce the risk of heart attack and blood vessel problems.
The medication was first approved in 1991 and it is now available in different doses of 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80 mg of simvastatin. After it has been prescribed to millions of patients over the years, in 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning regarding the 80mg dose, the highest available. Clinical studies have revealed that high concentrations of simvastatin are more likely to develop muscle damage, especially in the first year of treatment.
Patients can develop myopathy, a medical condition characterized by the abnormal functioning of muscle fibers. Affected individuals will experience symptoms including weakness and unexplained muscle pain and cramps. If the condition is not treated, it will worsen and turn into rhabdomyolysis. The disease occurs when muscle fibers break down, enter the bloodstream and affect the kidney’s filtering capacity. If the organ is overloaded, in severe cases kidney failure or even death might occur.
Individuals who suffered such severe injury, or their close relatives have the right to file a simvastatin lawsuit. These product liability lawsuits are based on the theory that the drug manufacturing company failed to properly inform patients about the risks. The case of a plaintiff will be supported by the fact that the Food and Drug Administration recommended doctors not to prescribe the 80mg dose to new patients, not even if a smaller dosage is inefficient. However patients will still have to prove that their injuries resulted indeed from the medication, and that it caused them financial losses. If they can do so, they will be compensated for medical bills, future treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering.