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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 debilitating stroke, alcohol or drug 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 as sickle cell disease, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis

  • Complications from the venom from snake bites and black widow spider bites.

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