Font Size

Rhabdomyolysis (cont.)

Rhabdomyolysis Causes

Some common causes of the muscle damage due to rhabdomyolysis include:

  • Major blunt trauma and crush injury
  • Electrocution
  • Lightening strikes
  • Major burns
  • Prolonged immobilization (for example, patients who have been lying in one position for a prolonged period of time due to a debilitatingstroke, alcohol ordrug overdose, or those who have remained unconscious for a prolonged period of time for other reasons). The weight of the body is enough to crush the muscles that are pushed up against a hard surface such as the floor.
  • Excessive exercise, for example,running a marathon or excessive weight lifting
  • Patients in status epilepticus, in which the seizure lasts for a prolonged period of time and muscles involuntarily contract
  • Dystonic reactions cause muscles to spasm, and if left untreated can damage muscle
  • Cholesterol lowering medications [for example, statins prescribed to treat high cholesterol (particularly when combined with other cholesterol lowering medications such as fibrates)]
  • Antidepressant medications [for example selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressants may cause a serotonin syndrome characterized by agitation,fever, and muscle spasm]
  • Some anesthetics can cause malignant hyperthermia syndrome with high fever and muscle rigidity
  • A variety of drugs of abuse [for example, cocaine, heroin, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines]
  • Hyperthermia and hypothermia (high and low body temperature, respectively)
  • Complications from a variety of infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Association with other diseases such assickle cell disease, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis
  • Complications from the venom from snake bites and black widow spider bites.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/1/2015

Must Read Articles Related to Rhabdomyolysis

Chemical Burns
Chemical Burns Chemical burns can occur in the home, at work or school, and as a result of accident or assault.learn more >>
Drug Overdose
Drug Overdose Overdoses of drugs or chemicals can be either accidental or intentional. Drug overdoses occur when a person takes more than the medically recommended dose. Over...learn more >>
Epilepsy Epilepsy is a condition in which the brain repea...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rhabdomyolysis:

Rhabdomyolysis - Treatment

What was the treatment for your rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with Rhabdomyolysis.

Rhabdomyolysis - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your rhabdomyolysis?

Medical Dictionary