Crestor Quick Reference Guide

• Astra Zeneca

Generic name
• Rosuvastatin

Date approved
• August 8, 2003

• On the market

Approved uses
• Cholesterol reduction

Serious side effects
• Cardiomyopathy
• Kidney damage
• Kidney failure
• Muscle damage
• Rhabdomyolysis
• Liver damage
• Diabetes

What is Crestor?

Crestor, generic name rosuvastatin, is a drug used to lower cholesterol. Manufactured by Astra Zeneca and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003, it is in a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins.

Who takes it, and for what conditions?

People who have high cholesterol take Crestor. People who do not have high cholesterol but have coronary heart disease, diabetes and other risk factors for heart problems also take it.

How does Crestor work?

Crestor reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides (types of fat) in the blood. Simultaneously, it increases levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL (good cholesterol).

Crestor also is supposed to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart complications.

The FDA has issued multiple warnings about Crestor, and studies have linked the popular statin to a number of dangerous side effects:

  • Cardiomyopathy — a disease of the heart muscle. One form, dilated cardiomyopathy, enlarges the heart so it cannot pump blood normally, leading to heart failure, arrhythmia, blood clots and embolisms. These conditions can be fatal.
  • Kidney damage and kidney failure — These conditions can occur as the protein myoglobin from damaged muscles builds up in the kidneys. The body normally is able to process myoglobin waste, but if muscle injury is extensive, the kidneys cannot keep up. Kidney damage can require surgery to remove the kidney and may necessitate long-term kidney dialysis treatment.
  • Muscle damage — Some patients suffer general muscle damage, or myopathy, signaled by muscle pain and weakness.
  • Rhabdomyolysis — a rare and more serious condition in which muscles break down and muscle fibers (myoglobin) are released into the bloodstream. Rhabdomyolysis results in damage to the muscles and to the kidneys as they attempt to process the released muscle fibers. It can be fatal. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include severe muscle pain, muscle weakness and very dark urine.
  • Liver damage — Studies have tied the use of Crestor to liver problems. The risk increases with the concurrent use of other drugs. Regular blood tests to measure liver function are recommended.
  • Diabetes — A 2010 report published in Lancet found statins, including Crestor, increased the risk of developing diabetes by 9 percent. A June 2011 Journal of the American Medical Association article similarly found that those taking higher doses of statins were 12 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.

What can you do?

If you or a loved one developed a heart condition, kidney problems, diabetes, muscle damage or rhabdomyolysis while taking Crestor, please speak with your doctor about whether or not you should remain on the medication and discuss your treatment options. Please also call our office to discuss your legal rights with a Crestor injury lawyer.

Trust our Massachusetts Crestor injury attorneys to help

Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts defective drug litigation. You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case.