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Rhabdomyolysis, Ambulatory Care

Rhabdomyolysis

is a condition where injured muscles release harmful substances into the bloodstream. These substances include potassium, phosphate, creatinine kinase, and myoglobin. Large amounts of these substances may damage your kidneys and other organs.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Pain, swelling, bruising, or weakness in your legs, arms, or lower back
  • Dark-colored urine, blood in the urine, or passing little or no urine at all
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Confusion or easy irritation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble breathing

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Urine that is dark, tea-colored, or has blood in it
  • Pain, swelling, or weakness in your arms or legs that does not go away or gets worse
  • Urinating less than usual or not able to urinate
  • Chest pain
  • A heart beat that is faster than usual or has a strange rhythm

Treatment for rhabdomyolysis

may include a large amount of IV fluid to help flush substances through your kidneys. Medicines may be added to the fluid to help flush out harmful substances and get rid of extra fluid. Medicines may also help reduce the acidity of your urine. You may also need dialysis to clean your blood when your kidneys cannot. A blood transfusion or surgery to cut tissues that cover your muscles may also be needed.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Drink more liquids if you are doing strenuous work, exercise, and if it is warm outside. Liquids help flush substances from your body.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Heavy alcohol use may increase your risk for rhabdomyolysis.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return to have blood tests done. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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