FDA: Drug combo spawns muscle injury

Muscle injury warning, part two: The FDA says mixing Zocor (simvastatin), with the heart rhythm med amiodarone boosts the risk of muscle injury, especially in elderly patients. The same goes for Vytorin, because it contains simvastatin. Amiodarone is marketed by Wyeth under the brand name Cordarone and as Pacerone by Upsher-Smith Laboratories.

The FDA has warned about the risks of combining a statin and amiodarone before. But since that warning, in 2002, the agency has received 52 reports of serious muscle injury to patients on the combo, and almost all of them had to be hospitalized.

As you know, muscle injury is a danger attendant on all statin meds, especially at higher doses. The overall risk is low, but if it happens, it can be serious, even fatal. And this is the second bit of news in less than a week about a statin interacting dangerously with another med; in Ireland, one man recently died while he was taking Lipitor along with an antibiotic, fucidic acid.

- read the Associated Press story
- check out the Wall Street Journal coverage