When you have rhabdomyolysis (say "rab-doh-my-AH-luh-suss"), dying muscle cells cause toxins to build up in the blood. If not treated, it can cause life-threatening damage to the body's organs.
It can be caused by many things, such as severe muscle injury, some medicines (like statins), the flu, and certain blood infections.
Symptoms may include weak muscles, pain, stiffness, fever, and nausea. Your urine may also be dark.
You will get treatment in the hospital. If possible, the doctor will stop the cause of muscle cell death. The doctor will take steps to protect your organs. You may have to stop taking certain medicines if they are the cause of the problem.
You will also get treatment to help the kidneys remove the toxins from your blood. This includes plenty of fluids. You may get fluids through a vein (by IV). You may also need dialysis.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you do not get better as expected.
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Current as of: April 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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