What is myopathy? What are the symptoms? How is it treated?

“Myopathy” refers to muscle disease. It is a group of disorders that affect the functioning of muscle fibers and, as a result, cause muscular weakness.

Because myopathy includes multiple disorders, symptoms can vary from temporary muscle cramps to total paralysis. The most serious symptoms of myopathy are:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • paralysis of toes or feet
  • muscle weakness in feet or legs
  • muscle twitching of the tongue or arms
  • and slurred speech

Other symptoms include spasms, swelling, and stiffness of the muscles.

If you suspect severe or recurring symptoms of myopathy, get medical care immediately. Treatment, when possible, can include splints and braces, medication, physical therapy and surgery.

Myopathy and Cholesterol Drugs Zocor and Vytorin

In June 2011, the FDA published a safety alert connecting myopathy to 80mg doses of simvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug. Simvastatin is sold under the brand names Zocor and Vytorin, and in 80mg doses can increase patients’ risk for myopathy. The FDA states that myopathy risks appear to run higher for patients during the first year of using Zocor or Vytorin.

The FDA further describes myopathy risks as higher for patients taking other medications along with Zocor and Vytorin.

If you or a loved one have taken Zocor or Vytorin and have myopathy or rhabdomyolysis, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us to speak with an attorney at no charge about your case.