The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously reviewed potential lawsuits for individuals who were diagnosed with rhabdomyolsysis from use of Zocor, Vytorin or Simcor, which involved an 80 mg daily dose of simvastatin. New cases are no longer being accepted. This page is maintained for informational purposes only.

Rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition where damaged muscle tissue releases the protein myoglobin into the bloodstream, which may cause kidney damage, kidney failure or death. High doses of Zocor (simvastatin) may increase the risk of this potentially life-threatening condition, which could include symptoms such as:

  • Muscle Cramps, Tenderness, Stiffness, Pain and Spasms
  • Kidney Damage or Kidney Failure
  • Dark or Red-Colored Urine
  • Nausea, Confusion or Abnormal Heart Rate

New rhabdomyolysis cases are no longer being accepted by the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. This page is maintained for informational purposes only.


It has been known for some time that side effects of Zocor, which is known generically as simvastatin, may increase the risk of myopathy, muscle damage and rhabdomyolysis (commonly referred to as “rhabdo”). However, in June 2011, the FDA required new warnings be added to the drug about an increased risk associated with 80 mg doses.

Similar warnings were also added about the risk of rhabdomyolysis from side effects of Vytorin and Simcor, where the cholesterol drugs may be prescribed at levels that contain an 80 mg daily dose of simvastatin, the active ingredient in Zocor. Vytorin combines simvastatin with exetimibe, while Simcor combines simvastatin with niacin.

Rhabdomyolysis from Zocor, Vytorin or Simcor can occur when muscle damage caused by simvastatin causes the release of myoglobin into the blood stream. This may cause kidney damage as the organ attempts to filter it out of the body, potentially leading to kidney failure or death in some cases.

Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis side effects may start with unexplained muscle cramps, tenderness, stiffness, pain or spasm.

The presence of myoglobin in the blood stream, or elevated muscle enzymes, may also cause dark or red-colored urine, which is often described as “tea colored.” Other possible symptoms of problems from rhabdo may include nausea, vomiting, confusion, coma or abnormal heart rate.

The severity of Zocor rhabdomyolysis problems often varies depending on whether kidney function is impacted. Kidney damage from rhabdomyolysis may lead to decreased urine production or the inability to urinate.


As a result of the risk of rhabdomyolysis with Zocor use at high doses, the FDA restricted the use of 80 mg simvastatin in June 2011. In addition, new rhabdomyolysis warnings were added to Zocor, Vytorin, Simcor and generic simvastatin indicating users face a higher risk of muscle damage at high doses.

The FDA has indicated that due to the risk of muscle damage, myopathy and rhabdo from Zocor 80mg daily dose, simvastatin should no longer be prescribed at that level unless an individual has already been taking it for at least 12 months without any problems.

Many critics have questioned why the Merck failed to previously warn about the true extent of the risk of rhabdomyolysis associated with high doses of simvastatin or issue a Zocor recall for the 80 mg dose.


According to information provided by the FDA in June 2011, about 4.9 out of every 100,000 people treated with Zocor or simvastatin 80 mg dose may be hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis, particularly within the first year.

Every year, millions of people were prescribed a medication containing 80 mg simvastatin as a result of the manufacturer’s failure to adequately warn about the risk of rhabdo. As a result, individuals diagnosed with this serious condition after taking high doses of Zocor, Vytorin or Simcor pursued financial compensation through a Zocor lawsuit or rhabdomyolysis class action claim.

New cases are no longer being accepted. This page is maintained for informational purposes only.