Clark Howard recently hospitalized for life-threatening muscle syndrome

Clark Howard at his annual Clark Kids toy collection for foster kids collection at a Wal-Mart in 2015. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

This was posted Monday, May 22, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta consumer guru Clark Howard was recently treated at Piedmont Hospital for a life-threatening muscle-related syndrome that may have been caused by a combination of medicines he was taking for two different medical issues.

He took antibiotic ciprofloxacin (brand name Cipro) to ward off an infection after a biopsy to monitor his on-going prostate cancer, which in his case is not aggressive. (He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.) He was also taking the common cholesterol lowering pill Lipitor. Doctors at Piedmont think that combination may have caused him to get rhabdomyolysis.

“I felt like death,” Clark told Channel 2 Action News today. “It was a struggle to walk five steps.”

According to WebMD, habdomyolysis is a “serious syndrome due to a direct or indirect muscle injury. It results from the death of muscle fibers and release of their contents into the bloodstream.” This could cause kidney failure and eventual death.

Channel 2 Action News noted that in 2013, Gwinnett triathlete Chris Dannelly died of the same condition five days after he took three pills of ciprofloxacin’s sister drug, levofloxacin.

In classic Howard fashion, he drove to the hospital himself and parked on a side street for free instead of going into a parking garage that charges money. But “in hindsight,” he wrote,” it was really dumb. I could barely stand by the time I got to the doctor.”

Howard left Piedmont about two and a half weeks ago. He spent two days there and four days at home in bed before he returned to work. He managed to only lose one show day for his syndicated radio show, which airs at 10 p.m. weekdays on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB.

In a text tonight, he said he is gradually feeling better: “I am between 80 percent to 90 percent myself depending on the day. I have heard I should expect a three-month cycle to full recovery.” Unfortunately, he still feels “moderate to high amounts of muscle pain each day.”

UPDATE: Clark Howard updated his Facebook page with this video on Tuesday:


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