Q: Where do I purchase Baycol?
A: You can no longer legally purchase Baycol on the U.S. market -- on August 8, 2001, Bayer, the manufacturer of Baycol, announced that it would withdraw the drug from the market. Baycol was withdrawn due to reports that the drug was causing serious and sometimes fatal rhabdomyolysis in patients.
Q: What is rhabdomyolysis?
A: Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which serious muscle damage results in the release of muscle cell contents, such as the blood-lookalike myoglobin, into the bloodstream. Common symptoms include but are not limited to muscle pain, weakness, tenderness, malaise, fever, dark urine, nausea, and vomiting. In rare instances, rhabdomyolysis may result in kidney damage and other organ damage, which could be fatal.
Q: How do I know if I have rhabdomyolysis?
A: Patients who develop rhabdomyolysis often have muscle aches involving their calves, back, or their entire body, and they feel general weakness and fatigue. This may be accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, and dark, almost bloodlike urine (due to the increased presence of myoglobin). If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact a physician immediately.
Q: What should I do if I am currently taking Baycol?
A: Immediately cease use of Baycol. It was withdrawn from the market due to serious, unavoidable health concerns, and given that it is illegal to sell or distribute Baycol in the United States, there is no guarantee that the drug you are taking is a structural equivalent to real Baycol. Speak with your physician to discuss alternative medications and for further advice.
Q: What if my physician is the one who gave me Baycol?
A: First, see a different physician to identify any medical issues that may have occurred due to your Baycol use. Then, consider speaking with a qualified local attorney. If your physician gave you Baycol after August 8, 2001, then it is likely that your physician violated the standard of care for medical professionals, and is liable for your injuries under the theory of medical malpractice.
Q: What is Baycol used to treat?
A: Baycol is a cholesterol-lowering drug belonging to a class of drugs known as "statins." It is prescribed to reduce your cholesterol and to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Q: Will I have any problems if I stop taking Baycol?
A: If you were prescribed Baycol to lower your cholesterol, your cholesterol levels may go back to where they were before you started taking the drug. These changes will not occur immediately, but will most likely occur over a couple of days to weeks. If you stop taking Baycol, be sure to consult your physician to discuss alternative therapies for lowering your cholesterol.
Q: Are there any alternatives to Baycol?
A: Yes, there are five (5) other drugs in the same class (statins) available in the U.S. market. They are atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor). There are also other drugs approved for lowering cholesterol that are not statins. You should consult your physician to determine which treatment is right for you.
Q: Do other statins present the same safety concerns as Baycol?
A: All statins have been associated with very rare reports of rhabdomyolysis. These rare cases can occur when the drugs are used alone or in combination with another lipid-lowering drug such as gemfibrozil. However, cases of fatal rhabdomyolysis in association with Baycol use have been reported more frequently than in association with other approved statins.
Q: Can I sue the manufacturer for injuries resulting from my use of Baycol?
A: Possibly - but it depends on the statute of limitations in your state. To have a valid claim against the manufacturer for your injuries, the statute of limitations period cannot have run out. Since Baycol was withdrawn from the market in 2001, you will have to meet two requirements: a) that your state operates under the discovery rule, and b) that you only became aware of your injuries within the past 2-3 years. If you feel you may still have a vaild claim, do not heasitate to contact an attorney to find out what your rights and remedies might be.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.