Doctors and providers who treat this condition



Rhabdomyolysis (RM) is the breakdown of muscle tissue. This releases toxic substances into the blood stream. The most common cause for this condition is muscle injury. The injury may be due to an accident such as a car or bike accident, fall, electrical shock, or severe burn. Very strenuous exercise (such as long-distance running) can cause RM. So can lying in one position for a long time (such as when unconscious). Certain medicines, poisons, drugs, or infections can also cause it.

RM often has no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they may include rust-colored urine and muscle pain or weakness.

Severe RM can be fatal. It can cause serious problems with the kidneys or heart. It can also affect the blood’s ability to form a clot. Because of this, RM is a medical emergency. It is treated in the hospital with IV (intravenous) fluids to flush the toxins out of the body. 

Home Care

  • Rest for the next 24 hours. Avoid any strenuous activity.

  • Drink extra fluids to stay well hydrated and to continue flushing toxins out of your system. Unless told otherwise, drink 3 quarts of clear fluids over the next 24 hours.

  • Take any medicines your are prescribed as directed.

Follow-up care

Follow up with this facility or your healthcare provider as advised. Repeat blood tests and an exam are likely needed within the next 24 hours.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if symptoms don't improve or get worse. 

Call 911 

Call 911 or return to the hospital if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat)

  • Dizziness, weakness, or fainting

  • Decreased urination or dark urine

  • Swelling, pain, or numbness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

  • Confusion

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Seizure


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