- 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.
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).
Quick GuideLower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
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
Heart Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes,...
Picture of Cholesterol
Cholesterol carried in particles of low density (LDL cholesterol) is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels...
Cholesterol Drugs: What to Expect With Heart Medication
When diet and exercise aren't enough, should you turn to drugs? Learn cholesterol basics, drug classes, and available drugs along...
Related Disease Conditions
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
Fatty Liver (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions
Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body. High blood cholesterol levels increase a person's risk of developing heart disease,...
Rhabdomyolysis is a rapid deterioration and destruction of skeletal muscle. Some of the causes of rhabdomyolysis include:...
Low Cholesterol Diet
Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body, and is a building block for cell membranes and hormones. Low-density lipoprotein...
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol (Differences, Normal Ranges, Meanings)
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the "bad"...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Whether Statins Cut Alzheimer's Risk May Depend on Gender, Race
- Coming Soon: Lower Cholesterol From a Twice-a-Year Shot?
- High-Dose Statins Boost Survival: Study
- Can Drugmakers Buy Doctors' Loyalty With Cheap Meals?
- Just a Little of Statins' Effect Enough to Help Heart: Study
- No Statins Before Heart Surgery, Study Suggests
- Statins May Reduce Heart Risks Linked to Sleep Apnea: Study
- The 10 Most-Prescribed and Top-Selling Medications
- Statins Won't Help Protect Bones, Study Finds
- Most Seniors Could Use Statins Under New Guidelines
- New Drug Lowers Cholesterol Beyond What Statins Can Do, Study Finds
- Crestor Tops List of Best-Selling Drugs
- Statin Use May Reduce Parkinson's Risk, Study Says
- Cholesterol Drugs Linked to Muscle, Joint Problems: Study
- Could Statins Raise Diabetes Risk?
- High-Dose Statins Linked to Acute Kidney Damage
- Statins Plus Exercise Best at Lowering Cholesterol, Study Finds
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Who Quit Statins May Face Raised Death Risk
- Could Statins Help Prevent Pneumonia?
- Statin Risks Outweighed by Statin Benefits
- Could a Statin Lower Your Risk for Depression?
- New Warnings on Cholesterol-Lowering Statins
- Generic Lipitor FAQ
- Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs May Cut RA Risk
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.