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What is Crestor (Rosuvastatin)?
Crestor is a brand name of the medicine Rosuvastatin. It belongs to a family of medications known as statins. Statins work to lower the levels of cholesterol in the body. If there is too much cholesterol, it can accumulate in the arteries, thereby narrowing them. This reduces blood flow and increases the chances that a clot may get stuck, stopping blood flow and therefore oxygen supply, altogether. This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
How does it work?
Blood tests measure several types of lipids in the blood, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), commonly referred to as bad cholesterol; high-density lipoproteins (HDL) commonly called good cholesterol; and triglycerides, amongst others.
LDLs carry cholesterol out of the liver and into cells. There is more cholesterol than the cells can use and so the leftover cholesterol is deposited in arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease. HDLs carry cholesterol from cells to the liver where it may be metabolized or excreted as waste.
Crestor works to reduce the levels LDLs, increase the levels of HDLs, and so reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease including coronary artery disease. Crestor also reduces the levels of triglycerides.
Statins, including Crestor, work on the enzymes that produce LDLs and are also referred to as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors because of this action.
In situations where energy is required and there is no sugar or carbohydrate available, the body releases hormones that release triglycerides from fat cells to be used as an energy source. If the level of triglycerides in the body is high, more then necessary, it can cause hardening of the arteries called atherosclerosis. In order to pump blood around the body, arteries rely on their elasticity.
How to use
Crestor comes in tablet form and is taken orally once a day. It comes in 5mg, 10mg and 20mg doses.
It is approved for use in adults and also in children between the ages of 8 and 17 if they have an inherited condition that causes high level of LDLs.
Doses usually start at 5mg and are then increased to 10mg or 20mg. Maximum dose ismg. It is recommended that you take the tablet(s) at the same time every day.
Some people may experience an allergic reaction to Crestor. Stop taking medication immediately and seek medical attention if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction. Typically, this would manifest as hives, difficulty breathing and/or swelling of the face or throat.
Some people may experience skin reactions when using Crestor. Stop taking medication immediately and seek medical attention if you experience signs of a skin reaction. This would include blistering, peeling of skin, or a rash that covers a large area, spreads quickly or is associated with a fever.
Common side effects typically affect 5-10% of people using Crestor include constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, flatulence, headache, muscle pains, nausea, sleep disorders.
These more common side effects are usually seen at the start of treatment or after a dose increase. Most will settle without any medical intervention.
Uncommon side effects, reported in 1-5% of those using Crestor include altered sensation in arms or legs, hair loss, liver disorders, memory loss, pancreatitis, sexual dysfunction, skin reactions.
Rare side effects seen in <1% of people include muscle weakness, peripheral neuropathy, tendinopathy, inflammation of the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder, low levels of platelets, breakdown of muscle called rhabdomyolysis,
Although these side effects are rare, they are significant and could lead to more serious effects. Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these rarer side effects.
You may experience side effects other than those listed above. Always check with your doctor if you are concerned.
Warnings & Precautions
It is important to let all of your healthcare providers know all of the medication that you are taking, all of the conditions that you have been diagnosed with and any allergies that you may have. Remember to include any over the encounter medications, vitamins, supplements, herbal medicines, and recreational drugs.
Caution in those with high alcohol intake or known liver disease.
Caution when using in the elderly.
Caution in those with previous muscular toxicity and those with a personal or family history of muscular disorders.
Caution in those with kidney disorders.
Caution in those with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism should be adequately treated before commencing Crestor.
It is recommended that adequate contraception is used during treatment with Crestor and for one month after treatment has ended.
Statins should not be used in pregnancy. It is recommended to discontinue Crestor three months before trying to conceive. Congenital abnormalities have been reported. It is thought that decreased synthesis of cholesterol could affect fetal development.
It is recommended to avoid use of Crestor if you are breastfeeding.
Avoid using Crestor in those with a creatinine clearance less than 30mL/min. Doses may need to be altered and high doses of Crestor avoided if some kidney impairment; creatinine clearance between 30 and 60mL/min.
Medications known to interact with Crestor:
- Nicotinic acid
Using alcohol whilst taking Crestor could put you at a higher risk of liver impairment. Always use alcohol responsibly.
Try to avoid using antacids at the same time as Crestor, particularly those that contain aluminium or magnesium. Antacids can affect the absorption of some medicines including Crestor. A gap of two hours should be left between taking antacids and Crestor.
If you are on any of the medications mentioned above consult with your doctor or your pharmacist. It may be necessary to stop taking one of the medications; change one of the medications to an alternative; change how or when you take one or both medications; or your healthcare professional may decide it is best to leave all medications as they are.
The list above may not contain all medications known to interact with Crestor. It is important that you inform your doctor of all medications, herbal medications, supplements, over the counter medication and recreational drugs that you are taking.
Do not take if you are allergic to Rosuvastatin.
Avoid in those with severe liver disease.
Try to avoid in those who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.
Do not take if breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if any of the contraindications mentioned above apply to you.