- 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.
Quick GuideLower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
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.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Related Disease Conditions
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Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
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Heart Attack Prevention
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How to Lower Your Cholesterol
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Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
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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.
Top rosuvastatin Related Articles
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a drug in the statin drug classed prescribed to patients to lower blood cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, elevate HDL cholesterol, to prevent angina, stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, revascularization procedures in heart disease, and prevent heart attacks, and strokes in patients with type 2 diabetes. Side effects of Lipitor include headache, urinary tract infections (UTIs), joint pain, common cold, intestinal gas (flatulence), diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn.
Drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Cholesterol Drugs SlidesWhen diet and exercise aren't enough, should you turn to drugs? Learn cholesterol basics, drug classes, and available drugs along with their benefits and side effects.
Cholesterol PictureCholesterol carried in particles of low density (LDL cholesterol) is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. See a picture of Cholesterol and learn more about the health topic.
fluvastatinFluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL) is a drug belonging to the drug class "statins." Fluvastatin is prescribed for reducing total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and increasing HDL cholesterol levels in conjunction with a healthy diet. Fluvastatin is also prescribed to reduce the risks of coronary revascularization procedures and slows the progression of coronary heart disease. Side effects, drug interactions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol Differences
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. Triglycerides levels in the blood reflect what you have eaten recently. HDL and LDL cholesterol levels show what you have been eating over a long period of time. If you eat a fatty meal your triglyceride levels will be elevated for a short period of time. If you continue to eat a diet high in fat your triglyceride levels will continue to rise. The liver transfers the triglycerides into body fat, or cholesterol, which raises LDL and lowers HDL levels in the blood.
Healthy (normal) total blood cholesterol levels are determined by the levels of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides in the blood. Talk with your doctor or other health care professional if you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, which can easily be determined with a simple blood test.
VLDL, or very-low- lipoproteins, is a third type of cholesterol. VLDL is another type of "bad" cholesterol that the liver produces, which contains a high amount of triglycerides.
REFERENCE: American Heart Association. "HDL (Good), LDL (Bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides." Updated: Jul 05, 2017.
Heart AttackHeart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Heart Attack and Atherosclerosis 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. Women experience the same symptoms as men; however, they also may experience:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pain in the upper abdomen
Leading a healthy lifestyle with a heart healthy low-fat diet, and exercise can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease)
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:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
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.
Heart Disease QuizTake our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes, symptoms, treatments, testing, and procedures for medically broken hearts.
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked QuestionsCholesterol 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
Liver Blood TestsAn initial step in detecting liver damage is a simple blood test to determine the presence of certain liver enzymes in the blood. Under normal circumstances, these enzymes reside within the cells of the liver. But when the liver is injured, these enzymes are spilled into the blood stream, and can lead to diseases like fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hepatitis. Several medications also can increase liver enzyme test results.
lovastatinLovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev) is in the drug class of statins. Lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev) is prescribed for reducing total cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with elevated cholesterol levels. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Lower Cholesterol Levels with Diet and Medication
Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body, and is a building block for cell membranes and hormones. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol. High levels of LDL and low levels of HDL cholesterol put a person at risk for heart attack, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini stroke), and peripheral artery disease. High cholesterol can be lowered by eating foods that lower cholesterol, for example:
- Eat more high soluble fiber foods (oatmeal, oat bran, vegetables, and certain fruits)
- Use olive oil
- Eat foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods that raise LDL or bad cholesterol include:
- Foods high in saturated and trans fats
- Fatty meats
- Limit egg yolks
- Limit milk products
- Limit crackers, muffins, and snacks
- Avoid unhealthy fast foods that are high in fat and sugar
High cholesterol treatment includes lifestyle changes (diet and exercise), and medications such as statins, bile acid resins, and fibric acid derivatives.
pravastatinPravastatin (Pravachol, Pravigard PAC [discontinued]) is a drug that belongs to the drug class of statins and is prescribed for the treating individuals at risk of the consequences of arteriosclerotic vascular disease, strokes, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes), and heart attacks. Side effects, dosing, drug interactions, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
RhabdomyolysisRhabdomyolysis is a rapid deterioration and destruction of skeletal muscle. Some of the causes of rhabdomyolysis include:
- severe burns,
- muscle trauma,
- electrolyte imbalance,
- medications (statins),
- viruses, and
simvastatinZocor (simvastatin) belongs to the drug class of statins and is prescribed for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Statins is a class of drugs prescribed to lower blood cholesterol. Statins also are prescribed for preventing and treating atherosclerosis. Common side effects of statins are
- constipation, and
Serious side effects can occur.
Examples of statins available in the US are
- atorvastatin (Lipitor),
- fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL),
- lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev),
- pravastatin (Pravachol),
- rosuvastatin (Crestor),
- simvastatin (Zocor), and
- pitavastatin (Livalo).
Drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Stroke Symptoms and TreatmentA 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.