Zocor Lawsuit - Side Effects, Cancer, Rhabdomyolysis, Muscle Injury

Study Indicates Zocor May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Perry Larkin | February 6th, 2013

ZocorA recent study has suggested that statin medications such as the Merck & Co. manufactured medication Zocor (simvastatin) may have anti-cancer properties. The study was presented in December 2012 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) and found women taking statins experienced a slight reduction in risk of cancer compared to a control group that wasn’t using statin drugs.

According to the results, women suffering from inflammatory breast cancer had longer periods of disease stability if they had previously used statin medications.

There was no evidence that the use of statins decreased a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Women with breast cancer taking statins had higher disease-free survival (DFS) rate

Pinkal Desai, the lead investigator in the study, examined 154,587 premenopausal women. The rate of women diagnosed with breast cancer who used statins and didn’t use statins was an equal annual rate of 0.42%.

Between the years 1995 and 2011, Dr. Naoto T. Ueno of the University of Texas reviewed the records of 725 women who had been diagnosed and treated for stage 3 breast cancer. She found that women who did not take statins had a disease-free survival (DFS) average of 1.76 years. Women who took lipophilic statins such as Zocor had an average DFS of 2.47 years.

It was noted in the report that statin use “did not extend overall survival in a statistically measurable way.”

Side effects of Zocor can be serious

Zocor is an HMG CoA reductase inhibitor—also known as statins. It is effective by lowering the body’s levels of what is known as “bad” cholesterol and increases “good” cholesterol. Doctors prescribe it to lower a patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

The medication has also been linked with Zocor side effects. Commonly they are constipation, indigestion, a mild rash, insomnia, symptoms of a cold, joint pain, and headaches. Other side effects, however, can be far more serious. An allergic reaction to Zocor can be indicated by: fever; muscle pain, tenderness or weakness; discolored urination; painful urination; nausea; jaundice; and swelling and gaining of weight.

These complications can be signals that the patient is suffering from a rare, potentially fatal condition known as rhabdomyolysis.

Patients with rhabdomyolysis are filing Zocor lawsuits

Rhabdomyolysis occurs when the tissues break down and release muscle proteins into the bloodstream. The FDA issued a warning in 2011 concerning the link between Zocor and rhabdomyolysis and referred to high dosage prescriptions of 80 mg and more as more dangerous.

People who have been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis after using the medication are increasingly pursuing a Zocor lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries. Those experiencing side effects from Zocor may have the basis to file a lawsuit against Merck.

Patients who have suffered from side effects may be faced with medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering and other problems. Contacting an attorney to discuss filing a lawsuit is an option for those who feel they have been injured due to Zocor.


  1. FDA Warns of Zocor Risk to Muscles. http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20100319/fda-warns-of-zocor-risk

  2. Zocor (simvastatin): increased risk of muscle injury with high doses. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlerts