Baycol (generic: cerivastatin) was approved in the United States in 1997. Baycol is part of a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels called statins. In August 2001, Baycol was pulled from the market. Baycol was withdrawn from the market because it has been linked to Rhabdomyolysis, which caused 31 deaths in the United States.
What Is Rhabdomyolysis?
Rhabdomyolysis is a condition that causes muscle-cell breakdown (atrophy) and causes muscle pain, weakness, tenderness, malaise, fever, dark urine, nausea and vomiting. Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life threatening condition.
While all statins have been associated with very rare reports of rhabdomyolysis, cases of fatal rhabdomyolysis in association with the use of Baycol have been reported significantly more frequently than for other approved statins,” the FDA said.
Rhabdomyolysis involves injuries to the kidneys caused by toxic effects of the contents of muscle cells. Myoglobin is an iron-containing pigment found in the skeletal muscle. When the skeletal muscle is damaged, the myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. It is filtered out of the bloodstream by the kidneys. Myoglobin may occlude the structures of the kidney, causing damage such as acute tubular necrosis or kidney failure. Myoglobin breaks down into potentially toxic compounds, which will also cause kidney failure.