Colchicine Triggered Severe Rhabdomyolysis After Long-term Low-dose Simvastatin Therapy

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Colchicine Triggered Severe Rhabdomyolysis After Long-term Low-dose Simvastatin Therapy

J Med Case Rep. 2017 Jan 4;11(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s13256-016-1169-z.

Colchicine triggered severe rhabdomyolysis after long-term low-dose simvastatin therapy: a case report.

Frydrychowicz C1, Pasieka B2, Pierer M2, Mueller W3, Petros S2, Weidhase L2.

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Rhabdomyolysis is a widely recognized yet rare complication in statin use. Rhabdomyolysis might be triggered by the prescription of high doses of statins or by statin accumulation due to interactions with concomitant medication. Muscle cell destruction as evidenced by myoglobin elevation can induce potentially life-threatening acute renal failure.


We report a case of a 70-year-old obese white man with sudden onset of severe rhabdomyolysis with consecutive renal failure. His medication included low-dose simvastatin, which he had taken for 6 years up until the event. The statin was withdrawn immediately. After 3 days of veno-venous hemofiltration his renal function was completely restored.


Clinicians in both primary and special care might be unaware that side effects of statins do occur even after a long uneventful statin medication; they should be advised not to exclude that possibility upfront, even if a patient has tolerated the medication for years.

Anti-HMGCR-antibody; Case report; Colchicine; Rhabdomyolysis; Statin therapy; Statin-associated myopathies (SAM)

PMID: 28049514

PMCID: PMC5209950

DOI: 10.1186/s13256-016-1169-z