- What is rosuvastatin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for rosuvastatin?
- Is rosuvastatin available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for rosuvastatin?
- What are the uses for rosuvastatin?
- What are the side effects of rosuvastatin?
- What is the dosage for rosuvastatin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with rosuvastatin?
- Is rosuvastatin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about rosuvastatin?
What is rosuvastatin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Rosuvastatin is an oral drug for lowering blood cholesterol levels. It belongs to a class of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, more commonly referred to as "statins." Other drugs in this class include
- simvastatin (Zocor),
- lovastatin (Mevacor),
- pravastatin (Pravachol),
- atorvastatin (Lipitor) and
- fluvastatin (Lescol).
These drugs reduce cholesterol levels by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that produces cholesterol in the liver. Rosuvastatin and other statins lower blood total cholesterol as well as blood LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is the "bad" type of cholesterol that increases the risk of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis) and heart attacks. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels slows the progression of coronary artery disease and may even reverse it. Statins also increase HDL cholesterol, the "good" type of cholesterol, and reduce triglycerides.
Scientists have discovered that in addition to atherosclerosis, inflammation of the coronary arteries may also contribute to the development of heart attacks. The presence of inflammation can be determined by measuring a chemical in the blood called highly sensitive, C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP). Moreover, Hs-CRP can be used to predict the occurrence of heart attacks, strokes and death. Hs-CRP is, in fact, a better predictor of the risk for heart attacks than LDL cholesterol. Scientists have found that statins reduce the level of Hs-CRP in the body, presumably by reducing inflammation in the coronary arteries, and this may be another mechanism through which statins prevent heart attacks, strokes, and death. More research needs to be conducted, however, to confirm the importance of inflammation and the mechanisms through which statins work. Rosuvastatin was approved by the FDA in August 2003.
What are the uses for rosuvastatin?
Rosuvastatin is used for the reduction of blood total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and to increase HDL cholesterol levels. Rosuvastatin also is used for reducing the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and arterial revascularization procedures in patients without clinically evident coronary heart disease but with multiple risk factors for heart disease.
What are the side effects of rosuvastatin?
The most common side effects of rosuvastatin are:
Other important side effects include:
Symptoms may start one day to years after starting treatment and resolve within a median of three weeks after stopping the statin.
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What is the dosage for rosuvastatin?
The starting dose for most adults is 5 mg once daily. The maximum dose is 40 mg daily, and this dose should be reserved for patients who do not adequately respond to a 20 mg dose.
Which drugs or supplements interact with rosuvastatin?
When administered with cyclosporine, the blood level of rosuvastatin increases seven fold, and this could increase the side effects of rosuvastatin.
Antacids reduce the absorption of rosuvastatin and should be administered two hours after rosuvastatin.
Is rosuvastatin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Statins should not be used by pregnant women because there is a high risk of harm to the fetus.
There is no information on whether rosuvastatin is excreted in human milk.
What else should I know about rosuvastatin?
What preparations of rosuvastatin are available?
Tablets: 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg
How should I keep rosuvastatin stored?
Rosuvastatin should be stored at room temperature between 2 C - 25 C (36 F - 77 F).
Rosuvastatin (Crestor) is a drug belonging to the drug class of statins. Rosuvastatin (Crestor) is prescribed to reduce total blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Rosuvastatin is also prescribed for reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and arterial revascularization procedures in individuals without clinical heart disease. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking, or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)
A heart attack occurs when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. Learn about warning signs, causes, complications, risk factors, and treatment.
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include: Smoking High blood pressure High cholesterol Diabetes Family history Obesity Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
Rhabdomyolysis is a rapid deterioration and destruction of skeletal muscle. Some of the causes of rhabdomyolysis include: severe burns, muscle trauma, coma, seizures, electrolyte imbalance, medications (statins), viruses, and bacteria. Treatment of rhabdomyolysis depends on the cause.
Fatty Liver (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver most likely caused by obesity and diabetes. Symptoms of fatty liver disease are primarily the complications of cirrhosis of the liver; and may include mental changes, liver cancer, the accumulation of fluid in the body (ascites, edema), and gastrointestinal bleeding. Treatment for fatty liver includes avoiding certain foods and alcohol. Exercise, weight loss, bariatric surgery, and liver transplantation are treatments for fatty liver disease.
Lower Cholesterol Levels with Diet and Medications
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is considered "good" cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL or "bad" cholesterol from building up in your arteries. Foods like extra lean meats, skim milk, and vegetable-based "butter-like" substitutes may help decrease LDL levels in the bloodstream.
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol (Good and Bad)
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the "bad" cholesterol, are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol through the veins and arteries of the body. HDL and LDL combined, is your "total" blood cholesterol. The difference between the two are that high levels of the "good," or HDL cholesterol, may protect against narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which protects you against heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. But high levels of LDL, or the "bad" cholesterol, may worsen the narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which puts you at a greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular diseases, some of which are life threatening.Triglycerides are found in body fat and from the fats you eat.
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions
Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body. High blood cholesterol levels increase a person's risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, TIAs, and more. In addition to medication (fibrates, statins, bile acid sequestrants, and niacin), lifestyle changes can be made to lower blood cholesterol levels
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Zocor (simvastatin) vs. Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- atorvastatin (Lipitor) vs. simvastatin (Zocor)
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Zocor (simvastatin)
- pravastatin (Pravichol)
- Side Effects of Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- ezetimibe and simvastatin, Vytorin
- fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL)
- lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev)
- Nikita (pitavastatin)
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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