Patient Comments: Rhabdomyolysis - Symptoms & Signs


What were the symptoms and signs of your rhabdomyolysis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Nellie, Published: May 23

I've never had the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) diagnosis until today. I've been experiencing fatigue and just attributed it to getting older, so I drank a lot of caffeine until I crashed with swollen lymph nodes, aching all over, severe sore throat and felt freezing all of a sudden about a month ago. I was on the couch for days until I felt better. I took several commitments off my calendar in order to maintain my regular work schedule and I've been feeling much, much better with the exception of bloating which is most likely due to the enlarged spleen and swollen liver (other side effects from EBV). I strongly suggest rest is best for anyone experiencing this virus. You can get better and fast by saying no to things. Take care of yourself!

Comment from: fd, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 22

I am a doctor and out of shape since injuring my knee playing soccer 2 months back. I decided to get back in shape by joining a gym. First day in the gym, I worked my triceps and pectorals, mind you, I used to hit the weights a lot in college and medical school but it was my first time doing so since. Immediately afterwards, I felt ok. That night I was mildly sore, the next morning I was severely sore, then the following morning, it was worse to a point where I couldn't put my deodorant on or dress myself due to soreness. Then I noticed my urine was Coke colored, which persisted till the next day which worried me and made me think immediately of rhabdomyolysis. I got lab tests done and my CK was 140 K. No renal failure or electrolyte abnormalities thankfully. I was admitted then for IVF in the hospital, I left when my CK came down to 72 K. I am currently trying to drink as much water as possible.

Comment from: patevan, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 13

I am a 41 year old male who is overweight and diabetic. I decided it was time to start exercising. I did a long walk and then the next day (while in pain from walking) I was up and down a ladder decorating a house for Christmas. By that evening I could barely get out of a chair or even pull myself up. I had to have people help me get up because it felt like my muscles had no energy. Once I was standing, I was able to walk normal. That evening I had gotten up a couple times to go to the bathroom. The third time (at 3:00am) I walked to the kitchen because I was really thirsty. I took a drink and then before I knew it, it was as if someone flicked a switched and turned every muscle in my body off. I immediately went limp and fell quickly into my garbage can and then onto the hard, cold tile. I could barely move and still could not understand what had just happened to me. I then noticed blood dripping down from my elbow and realized I must have hit it against my counter as I fell. I slowly tried to get up and realized my muscles were not going to cooperate with me. So I then managed to slide over to my counter and lift myself up with my weak arms but still could not get up onto my feet. So I slid my way to the bedroom to my cellphone to call my girlfriend. I fell 3 more times trying to walk (and hurt my ankle and knee) I went to the emergency room and they told me I had rhabdomyolysis and I was admitted into the hospital for 3 days to get all my levels back to normal. It is a pretty horrible feeling when every muscle in your body just shuts down, it is nothing to mess around with. The hospital also blamed it on the simvastatin.

Comment from: calij, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 13

My 7 year old daughter came home with Tonsillitis and I took her to the pediatrician. I never came down with it myself but I think my body was fighting it off. My lymph nodes were sore for a few days and 3 weeks later my skin broke out in guttate psoriasis. I went to a general doctor and they thought it was staph and they gave me antibiotics which did nothing. Then I went to a dermatologist who thought it was hot tub folliculitis. I went to seek a 3rd opinion and she took a biopsy from one of the spots on my back and it turned out to be guttate psoriasis. It has been almost 1.5 months now. I've tried steroid creams, oregano oil, tea leaves oil, and have been tanning in the sun and in tanning beds. It seems to be helping but the legs are harder to get rid of than my arms, stomach and back. It is 70 percent healed but has left my skin discolored and blotchy like the way scars discolor skin. Someone said Vaseline helps, maybe we always have to keep our skin super hydrated.

Comment from: Gracie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I am a 48-year-old female who lives a very healthy and active lifestyle. Two years ago I started feeling some pressure in my chest. Not pain but pressure. I was doing hot yoga about three times a week in addition to spinning classes. After going to the emergency room and several tests later it was determined that I had rhabdomyolysis. My creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels were around 1100. I was admitted and treated with IV fluids. When I was discharged I was told to just drink a lot of fluids. Since then I do experience some pressure if I do any kind of hard cardio, and I get over heated. I am afraid to do any kind of workouts due to this. I have been told this can reoccur anytime. I can now only do light walking and regular yoga.

Comment from: Saved by a Miracle, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 09

My doctor increased my dosage of Crestor to 40 mg, and 11 months later, my GFR fell to 47. I was tired, but the doctor didn’t mention the GFR fall. Over the next 10 months I continued taking Crestor. I had four falls and told the doctor, but he still couldn’t find anything wrong. By this time I was very weak for another 10 months. I finally collapsed, and after being helped to my feet I returned to the doctor with the help of a walker and another person. The doctor did blood tests and my GFR was 24. She still didn’t think anything was medically wrong and said I should go to rehab to improve my core strength. Two days later, I collapsed again and went to the ER. I was admitted with what they thought was alcoholic myopathy. Despite disagreeing with this diagnosis (I don’t drink enough alcohol for this to be the cause), they insisted they were right. After three days in the hospital, my liver and kidneys began to fail. This confirmed (in her mind) to the doctor in the hospital that the cause must be alcohol. By that time I was too sick to protest further. On the third day, at my request, I was visited by a doctor from the rehabilitation hospital to have my suitability for rehab tested. He took one look at the medications I was taking (they still had me on Crestor 40 mg), and I heard him tell his assistant that they should cease giving it. Three days later they removed all fluids to let me die. The night of the day the fluids were removed the doctor appeared at my bed, looking flustered, and told me they had "done another test and it was the highest reading they had ever seen." I later found out it was a creatine kinase (CK) test of 100,000 –plus; also advised by the rehab doctor. I was immediately put back on fluids and rushed to intensive care. They inserted a central venous catheter into my jugular and filled my blood up with about 20 bottles of bicarbonate fluid to flush my blood of the byproducts of muscle breakdown. I avoided dialysis and my GFR improved to 35 after I got out of intensive care. Later, the specialist apologized to me for not doing a CK test and not realizing that my rhabdomyolysis was misdiagnosed. I went to rehabilitation for two weeks and my muscles are OK, but my kidneys have been seriously damaged. However, considering I almost died and was only saved by a doctor outside the hospital system, I believe I was the subject of a miracle.


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Published: March 21

I am a 59 year old male. I have been on Lipitor for the last 5 years. 10 to 20 milligrams per day. For the past two years I have been feeling my age, so I thought, with aches and pains in my knees, shoulders and hip. A month ago, the pain and swelling would not stop in my knees. I could hardly walk or sleep. I stopped taking Lipitor for two weeks. The pain slowly but surely diminished. I went to my doctor and told him this story. I suggested trying the generic form of Lipitor to him. He agreed and back came the pain. I have stopped taking it for the past week and all that remains is inflammation in one of my knees. The pain in my shoulders and hip are gone! I need to see my doctor soon and tell him that I have stopped taking this drug. Now I feel like a forty year old! Hope this helps you.

Comment from: pcdgirl16, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

I am a 16 year old girl and last summer I was at a boot camp for drill team working out in 105 degree weather from 7 in the morning to after 11 at night with minimal water. I passed out and was rushed to the hospital. I was on the renal failure floor with kidney damage, muscle damage, anemia, and low potassium. I had a catheter for 4 days and was in the hospital for 5. I am no longer able to dance, which is one of my passions, and I now battle with depression and anxiety because of it. The thing that scared me the most was the doctors telling me if I had stayed at the boot camp, I wouldn't have made it through the night.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I am a 29 year old female with no large Intestine. I ran a half marathon and it was very cold and began to rain the last 3 miles. I finished strong but was having trouble maintaining my body’s temperature. Once home I showered and went to bed. I woke up with terrible cramping in my neck, jaw and hands along with heart palpitations. I drove myself to the ER and was immediately admitted. Rhabdo was found when the Dr ran blood tests to check my electrolytes and creatinine. Lucky for me my Dr was an athlete and suspected it immediately. He wouldn't give me any Toradol for pain until he could clear my blood due to how hard that is on your Kidneys. I'm grateful for a Dr who was on top of things.

Comment from: BCOEMT, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 01

Started having right-sided chest pain a few days ago that gradually intensified and caused shortness of breath. Everyone seemed to think that I had bronchitis, but after going to the ER and having blood work done, it showed that my CPK was over 1500. I was admitted to the hospital and given continuous IV fluids. I have been discharged, but I still feel like crap. The ER doctor seems to think that Lipitor was causing the problems. I do not remember injuring myself, so this seems to be the most obvious reason.

Comment from: Kable, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 19

I developed Rhabdomyolysis after being on Lyrica for a week. I had just had a upper and lower scope to stage my Crohn's Disease and had spent the afternoon recovering. Then I took my wife to dinner for her birthday when I started getting stomach cramps. Within hours every muscle in my body hurt so bad I could barely breath and I could not walk so my wife took me to the local ER. After waiting for 4 hours they ran some blood work and found that I had elevated CK enzyme levels. After 5 more hours they diagnosed me with Rhabdomyolysis and gave me a shot of Tordol and sent me home telling me there was nothing they could do for me. After 3 days of agonizing pain things started to improve but then I started developing a migraine so I took my Topimax medication only to have it cause a relapse of my Rhabdomyolysis. After calling my doctor I was told that they would not see me in the ER and to just drink lots of water. The next day I passed out and was rushed to the ER where they found that my liver and kidneys had shut down. After a week in the hospital I was finally released. The whole time I experienced the worst pain I had ever felt, worse than even passing kidney stones. I still do not understand why they refused to give me anything for the pain or why they refused to see me in the ER and at least give me fluids. What happened to do no harm?

Comment from: fluffy1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I am wondering if I could possibly have rhabdomyolysis. I started taking Lyrica for fibromyalgia two weeks ago. I started at 150 mg a day and now am taking 300 mg a day. Two days ago, I woke up with very stiff legs. This has not gone away. I did not have this pain before taking Lyrica.

Comment from: stilldontknow, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 15

I am a 49 year old female. I had Rhabdomlyosis back in November 2011. They said I had Rhabdomlyosis with CPK levels at 58000. I am healthy female, don't smoke and have never taken drugs. I am not on any meds. They tested me for everything, I was in the hospital for a week. The CPK went down to 1000 when they let me go. To this day we still don't know how or why I got it.

Comment from: Juggernaut Johnson, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 06

I had always been a very active person. In high school I boxed and played rugby. I joined the Army right out of high school and on my very first day, while doing push ups, my left arm just clasped and gave out on me. Fearing that I was going to get sent home early I didnt tell anyone until a few days later when I couldnt hide my pain and the fact that I couldnt move my arm. I got ammited to a hospital and the doctor told me my cK level was over 150,000. Told me what rhabdo was and put me on bed rest and IV for a week and a day. It sucks now that I'm out I'm afraid to work out because of fear of the pain.


Muscle weighs more than fat. See Answer
Comment from: MsGirl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

I experienced a bout of rhabdomyolysis after an extremely tough workout with a trainer. Both of my upper arms became extremely swollen and my CPK levels measured 44,000. I was hospitalized for 2 days and given IV fluids which reduced my numbers back to normal. My doctor and I agreed to move very slowly back into the gym after a 4 week waiting period Unfortunately, the first time I put any stress on my arms my CPK level spiked to 1000. Right now it looks like I won't be hitting the gym for a while until we figure out what's going on. I am not on any of the medicines others have mentioned, but I do suffer from rhumatoid arthritis, so we are investigating whether this could be related.

Comment from: Bill W, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 28

I am sitting here in the hospital for the fifth day with rhabdomyolysis which was brought on by starting weight training and being Simvastatin. I've been tethered continually to an IV to rehydrate myself and to flush all the bad stuff out of my blood stream. When I was admitted my CK was over 15,000. Today I am at 1,500. My symptoms included swollen arms (twice their size), lack of range of motion in the arms, and achiness. I was lucky that my kidneys are not damaged and that all other blood markers are normal -- some elevated liver counts -- but within acceptable levels.

Comment from: anonymous a, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

With rhabdomyolis I experienced severe muscles spasms beginning on the left side of my body - a severe pain shot down my left arm and I felt like I was having a heart attack. My husband took me to the emergency room...I was told there was nothing wrong with me -- they did not check my cpk levels or urine. About 5 days later, it happened on the other side of my body. This time it shot down both the front and back of the right half of my body. My husband took me back to the emergency room. Thank God! I had a different doctor this time. She had the sense to check my cpk level and other levels. My cpk had shot to over 900 and my potassium levels were also high. I have stopped taking simvastatin. I was only taking 10 mg. I have undergone weight gain. I have not changed my diet. I have put on about 20 lbs in 11 months. I also take synthroid. This was also checked and monitored. My tsh levels are still in the normal range. The only thing that I can account the weight gain to is the statin rhabdomyolisis. At the time of the onset, I also had dark urine. I still do not have the endurance physically that I used to have before this happened. I am also suffering from tremendous lower back pain. This has been checked recently. I was told that I have arthritis in my back. I make sure I stay hydrated. I'm hopeful that I will fully recover.

Comment from: Jesse16 77, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 18

My 16 year old grandson was diagnosed with severe rhabdomyolysis. He was injured and it caused his small intestine to separate from his bowels. After his injury he could not walk without help and began to immediately vomit. The next day he began to vomit blood which lasted for 5 days. His mom refused to get him any medical help although he was in severe pain, profusely sweating and vomiting blood, and could not move. After 2.5 months the result of his condition is severe muscle, nerve, brain, and cardiac damage. He cannot walk. He is trying to learn to reuse his body and learn how to talk. He is in a wheelchair. He was able to take two steps with a walker.

Comment from: whatsmynameagain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I am a 26 year old female and have struggled with drug addictions. Last year after a binge on methamphetamine, I started to feel very sick, my whole body hurt, and I had pretty bad chest pains. I went to the hospital. My blood pressure was pretty high and my heart was distressed, as they had me hooked up to a heart monitor. After doing blood tests they diagnosed me with rhabdomyolysis as a result of toxic buildup of meth.

Comment from: bellamcn, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 27

I started taking simvastatin in December and shortly after using it I felt like I aged 100 years. I felt like it took all my energy just to get up and walk. I shortly after started having sore spots on my muscles in my legs and hip, I now have difficulty walking with sore muscles in my legs, hips and back. I will never use this drug again.

Comment from: jamac, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 02

I am a 49 year old police officer who suffers from post traumatic syndrome from Iraq. When depressed, which is often, I tend to drink alcohol more than I should. I was also diagnosed with ischemia and placed on Crestor. However, I have always been athletic. So one morning, I had a good workout, but the next day, I was extremely sore and noticed my early morning urine to be extremely dark. I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with rhabdomylosis. I really believe that my alcohol consumption, along with the statin drug, had a lot to do with my condition. I have been taken off the statin, and now seeking help with my alcohol condition.

Comment from: howard, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 26

While I am sleeping I awake with terrible leg pains I try to walk the pain off. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. If not I take two ibuprofen. A short time later the pain is gone .I will soon tell my doctor.

Comment from: Paddy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 24

I am taking Eltroxin and Zocor. I have developed a very high temperature and am very weak. My doctor prescribed me Amoxiclav and I now have a rash from head to toe. I stopped taking antibiotics and took Piriton. The rash subsided but I am still feeling poorly.

Comment from: Rosie Gebara, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

2nd time this is happening, I was diagnosed w/rhabdomyolysis last year and the pain has returned more severely (not a heart attack). The pain has radiated to shoulder down arm. Could this be possibly be rhabdomyolysis again, (have not done any labs), when I was taken to the ER last week, labs were within normal limits.