Since Crestor® (rosuvastatin calcium) was first approved as a cholesterol medication, it has been a topic of controversy. Like all medications, the drug has been linked to side effects, some more severe than others. It belongs to a class of drugs called statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors). Other statin medications include Lipitor® (atorvastatin), Zocor® (simvastatin) and Simcor® (niacin extended-release/simvastatin).
Before Crestor® was approved, Lipitor® and Zocor® were among the most popular cholesterol medications. When Crestor® hit the market, AstraZeneca, maker of Crestor®, claimed it was the strongest drug in its class. But, critics argue stronger is not always better.
Statin medications are known to cause side effects in some patients, including a dangerous muscle condition that can lead to kidney damage. Patients taking statin medications are warned to seek medical attention if they experience muscle pain, weakness or tenderness, especially if they have a fever.
Patients are also at risk of suffering damage to the liver. They should be tested before starting treatment and periodically throughout treatment to test for liver damage. Some of the more common side effects include headache, muscle pain, nausea and general weakness.
And, as if that wasn’t enough — new data suggests Crestor® and other statin medications might damage the heart. It has already been shown that statin drugs lower a patient’s coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels. Data shows that when a patient’s coenzyme Q10 levels are low, he or she may be at risk of heart problems. This is because coenzyme Q10 helps the heart muscle to pump blood efficiently without rest.
When coenzyme Q10 levels drop, the energetic capacity of the heart could be jeopardized. Based on this evidence, some researchers believe that certain patients with heart problems could be at risk of worsened heart failure or other problems such as cardiomyopathy if they take Crestor® or statin medications.
All drug makers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe. Just because a medication helps with one condition, it doesn’t make it OK for the drug to put patients at risk for another. If you were taking Crestor® or another medication and believe that it caused you harm, we may be able to help you. Contact a Crestor® side effects attorney to find out more about your rights.