Baycol Cholesterol treatment drug
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Medical Warning Baycol ® Injury
Baycol® (also marketed as Lipobay®) was originally prescribed for treatment of hypercholesterolemia, or elevated cholesterol levels. An elevated cholesteral level is a contributing factor in heart attacks and coronary artery disease. Other similarly prescribed cholesteral fighting drugs include Zocor®, Pravachol®, Lipitor®, and Mevacor®.
Baycol® was marketed worldwide by Bayer – Makers of Baycol and, in the United States, co-marketed by GlaxoSmithKline. This cholesteral fighting drug is a member of the statin family of pharmaceuticals (Baycol is generically known as cerivastatin). Statins inhibit a liver enzyme required for cholesterol production. This inhibition results in a reduction of the cholesterol level of the patient. While the potential benefits of Baycol are apparent, the risks led the manufacturer to halt sale of the drug.
Bayer Pharmaceutical removed the Baycol from the market August 8, 2001. The withdrawal was largely tied to the numerous deaths resulting from Baycol use. According the Food and Drug Administration, Baycol has been linked to at least 40 deaths prior to its withdrawal. This was not a totally unexpected as researchers had previously associated statin use with rhabdomyolysis. However, occurrence of death from rhabdomyolysis was significantly higher in users of Baycol than for people taking other statins.
700,000 Americans have taken Baycol
Rhabdomyolysis is a severe muscle condition in which muscle cells break down, releasing the contents of muscle tissue into the blood stream. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include: muscle pain, fatigue and weakness; soreness and tenderness; fever; dark, discolored urine; and nausea. If the Baycol-related muscle injury is severe, the patient may develop renal failure or other organ failure. This impact can be fatal.
Other symptoms of Baycol use include:
- Abdominal pain
- Ankle / feet / leg swelling
- Chest pain
- Dizziness and Nausea
- Gas / indigestion / heartburn
- Skin rash
- Stomach discomfort
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