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Dangerous Drugs Baycol

Baycol and Lipobay, generically known as Cerivastatin, was approved by the FDA for sale in the United States in 1997. It was prescribed for treatment of hypercholesterolemia, (elevated Cholesterol levels) which is a known risk factor for coronary artery disease and heart attacks. It is a member of a class of cholesterol lowering drugs known as “statins.” Statins are effective at lowering cholesterol by blocking a specific enzyme that is involved in the body’s synthesis of cholesterol. Statins have been known to cause muscle cell damage and, in extreme cases, Rhabdomyolysis, a condition that results in muscle cell breakdown and the release of the contents of muscle cells into the bloodstream. The onset of Rhabdomyolysis has been significantly higher with use of Baycol than with any other statin.

Before Baycol was introduced to the market, the manufacturer, Bayer Corporation, had conducted clinical trials to determine any potential complications with the drug. Despite findings that Baycol posed serious health risks, Bayer continued to seek FDA approval for higher dosages of the drug. As a result recommended dosages increased from .2 mg to .8 mg., even though Bayer had knowledge of Rhabdomyolysis causing death and kidney failure in Baycol users as early as January, 2000. The associated dangers of the drug increased as the dosage increased. After receiving reports of an increased number of serious Rhabdomyolysis cases, Bayer adjusted the recommended dosage level in May of 2001.

On August 8, 2001 Bayer voluntarily recalled Baycol. This announcement came after numerous reports of sometimes fatal Rhabdomyolisis. At the time 31 deaths had been linked to the drug. In 12 of the 31 cases, the victims were taking Baycol in combination with gemfibrozil (Lopid), another lipid reducing medication. Since then, at least 100 deaths have been linked to the drug.

Baycol Side Effects

The most serious side effect caused by Baycol is rhabdomyolysis. This is a condition where muscle cells deteriorate, resulting in release of muscle cell contents into the bloodstream. Rhabdomyolysis may result in kidney damage and other organ damage which can be fatal. In addition to muscle pain and weakness, other symptoms to be aware of include:

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • dark urine
  • fever
  • fatigue

It is important to note that rhabdomyolysis can be present even in people who do not experience any of the above symptoms.

Rhabdomyolysis can damage the kidneys and ultimately result in kidney failure. If you have taken Baycol, contact your physician. Rhabdomyolysis can be diagnosed through a simple blood test.

If you feel you have been harmed by use of Baycol, click here to have an attorney review your case for free, with no obligation. Or, call us toll free at (863) 669-9999.


The experienced Lakeland personal injury attorneys at Allen & Abaray, P.A. aggressively pursue accident injury cases throughout the state of Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, truck accident, slip and fall accident, or have suffered any type of injury because of someone else's negligence, call 1-863-669-9999 today for a free consultation.

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