Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a type of cholesterol-lowering medication which may help to prevent heart disease. Crestor and other statin-type medications may cause certain side effects, some of which may be severe or life-threatening.
Drug Warning: Crestor
|Classification||Statin cholesterol-lowering agent|
|Dosage form(s)||5mg tablet|
|Normal dosage||Adults 100mg twice daily or 200mg daily, up to 400mg by mouth daily|
Children dosed by weight
Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a member of the statin class of anti-cholesterol medications. It works to lower cholesterol and triglycerides by encouraging the liver to rid the body of cholesterol by excreting it into the feces and by inhibiting new cholesterol metabolism.
Crestor and other statin medications may be used to treat:
- Hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol levels
- Mixed dyslipidemia or cholesterol imbalance
- Hypertriglyceridemia or high triglyceride levels
- Slow the progression of atherosclerosis
- Primary prevention of heart disease
Crestor Side Effects
Crestor works to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels by inhibiting an enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, used for cholesterol formation. Changes in cholesterol formation result in decreased blood triglyceride levels, reduced low-density lipid (LDL and VLDL) formation, and increased ratio of high-density lipid (HDL) cholesterol. Over time, decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels may reduce the buildup of plaques in the arteries and veins which may help to prevent heart disease.
Crestor and other statin drugs have a number of side effects and while most are mild to moderate, some may be more serious or even life-threatening.
Common side effects of Crestor include:
- Muscle aches
- Muscle weakness
- Abdominal pain
More severe Crestor side effects may include:
- Muscle damage
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
Rhabdomyolysis is a condition which has been linked to statin use. It occurs when muscle tissue is broken down, releasing large amounts of protein and internal cell contents into the blood stream. The kidneys may be unable to process the protein and other chemicals and will begin to fail. The condition may lead to kidney failure and is potentially fatal.
Severe symptoms of muscle damage including weakness and pain or signs of changing kidney function such as inability to produce urine, urine which has changed color, appears or smells differently from usual and changes in consciousness level should be treated as a medical emergency.
Crestor prescribing information includes warnings about the possibility of rhabdomyolysis and kidney failure due to myoglobinuria (protein in urine). Warnings state that the risk of myopathy is increased at all dosage levels, but are highest at the 40mg/day dosage amount.
Crestor should be given with caution in patients who are already at increased risk for myopathy including patients who:
- Are over 65 years old
- Are hypothyroid
- Have renal impairment
- Are taking other cholesterol lowering medications
- Are taking certain antiviral medications
- Are taking medications for gout
- Are at risk for liver damage
Crestor should be discontinued if laboratory testing reveals elevated creatinine kinase levels or if liver or kidney function tests indicate worsening. It should be withheld or discontinued if symptoms of myopathy occur.
Patients should be advised to discuss all of their medical history and medications they are taking with their health care providers.
AstraZeneca reportedly paid $110 million to settle whistleblower lawsuits in Texas regarding marketing of Crestor and another AZ drug, Seroquel. The lawsuits claimed the company had misrepresented the safety of Crestor and alleged that AstraZeneca had targeted the Texas Medicaid system. The company had previously faced a number of medical injury cases in state courts in California, however no resolution or settlements of those cases have been publicly announced.
A number of lawsuits were settled for similar claims against another statin medication, Baycol, which had been pulled off the market in 2001 and claims have been made against other statins. AstraZeneca may still be facing a number of medical injury cases in state courts in California, but no resolution or settlements of those cases have been publicly announced.
There are no currently listed medical injury lawsuits regarding Crestor or rosuvastatin, but it may continue to pose potential risks to patients who take the medication. As such, Crestor attorneys and lawyers will remain watchful.
- Crestor Prescribing Information, RxList (12/2018)
- AstraZeneca settles US Seroquel/Crestor lawsuits for $110 million, PharmaTimes (8/2018)
- $894M deal ends most of Pfizer’s lawsuits, ABC News (10/2008)
- Pfizer pays $94 million to resolve allegations it made fraudulent patents to delay generic competition, APhA (11/2017)