Q: What is Crestor?
A: Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium) is a statin drug, a medicine that lowers "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides and raises "good" cholesterol in the blood. Crestor is made by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003.
Q: Are there any special instructions for taking Crestor?
A: Crestor is part of a treatment program that should include a low-fat diet and exercise. You should be placed on a standard lipid-lowering diet and an exercise routine before taking Crestor, and should continue these activities during treatment.
Crestor can be taken as a single dose at any time of day, with or without food. The dose range is 5 to 40 mg once daily. You should start on the lowest possible dose and never at 40 mg. After starting or changing your dose of Crestor, your lipid levels should be checked within 2 to 4 weeks and your dose adjusted as necessary.
Q: Has there been any recent news about Crestor?
A: In March 2005, the FDA issued an alert stating that serious muscle damage had been reported in patients taking Crestor as well as other statin drugs. The alert also reported a study revealing that the amount of the drug in the blood of a diverse group of Asian patients taking Crestor was 2 times higher than for Caucasian patients in the study. The labeling for Crestor will now recommend a lower starting dose of 5 mg for Asian patients.
Kidney failure was also reported in patients treated with Crestor and other statin drugs. However, this was at a rate of about 2 per 1 million patients. The FDA reviewed the evidence and in 2012 removed the requirement of routine monitoring of liver enzymes for statin drug labels. This was done as the liver damage was exceptionally rare and the routine periodic monitoring wasn't shown to help identify the liver disease. Instead, liver enzyme tests are recommended only before taking Crestor and later if signs of liver problems arise.
The FDA made a second safety announcement in 2012 that some drugs for HIV or Hepatitis C known as protease inhibitors may interact with statins, such as Crestor. The combination may place patients at an increased risk for muscle injury and kidney failure.
Q: Who shouldn't take Crestor?
A: You shouldn't take Crestor if you have liver problems or have persistently high liver enzymes, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or are allergic to Crestor or any of its ingredients. If you become pregnant, stop taking Crestor and contact your doctor immediately.
Q: Are there any serious health risks associated with Crestor?
A: Crestor may cause rare, but serious, side effects including muscle damage (which can lead to kidney damage), and liver damage. Side effects from Crestor use include muscle pain, constipation, weakness, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Q: What should I tell my healthcare professional before he or she prescribes Crestor?
A: Before taking Crestor, you should tell your doctor about all known medical conditions, including if you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, have liver problems, have kidney problems, or drink alcohol.
Q: What should I do if I think I have been injured as a result of taking Crestor?
A: If you or a loved one have experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions related to Crestor use, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. It may also be in your best interests to meet with an experienced product liability attorney to learn more about your legal options. Under product liability law, drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their medications are free from any dangerous defects and to inform patients about any known risks. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable for any injuries that result.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.