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Rhabdomyolysis (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Rhabdomyolysis is often seen as a complication of a major medical event such as trauma or other illness. It is usually recognized by the health care practitioner during evaluation and treatment of the patient. For example, a patient who suffers electrocution is expected to develop rhabdomyolysis, and care will be taken to monitor and potentially minimize the complications of muscle breakdown. Similarly, a patient who has been immobile on the floor for many hours after sustaining a stroke is at risk for rhabdomyolysis, and diagnostic tests for this potential complication are often performed.

In some situations, it is important for the individual to seek medical care if symptoms of muscle weakness and dark urine occur. These symptoms may occur due to prolonged exercise such as running a marathon or excessive weight lifting.

Patients taking medications such as statins and fibrates for cholesterol control should be aware that unexplained spontaneous muscle pain or dark urine, both symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, should be a signal that medical care should be accessed.

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