Crestor® and Heart Complications

Because Crestor® (rosuvastatin), like other statins, has been shown to lower the amount of CoQ10 the body produces, and because CoQ10 is thought to protect the heart, some people believe that taking such statins increases a person’s risk of certain types of heart disease.

"The severity of heart failure correlates with the severity of CoQ10 deficiency," according to Peter H. Langsjoen, M.D., F.A.C.C., who wrote a paper in 1994, called the Introduction to Coenzyme Q10. Because of this belief, which numerous others hold as well, it has become popular for people to take over-the-counter CoQ10 if they take a statin drug such as Crestor®.

CoQ10 is a substance that is contained in every cell in the body and is involved with digestion and the production of energy. It is considered to be in the same category as vitamins and can be bought over the counter. Like vitamins and other nutritional supplements, though, it is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Other investigators, however, are not as convinced that CoQ10 should be used when taking a statin such as Crestor®. Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D., in writing for the Mayo Clinic, says "no large studies have confirmed this theory, so current guidelines don’t recommend routine use of coenzyme Q10 in people taking statins."

Dr. Behrenbeck is a noninvasive cardiologist whose specialty is cardiovascular imaging (using echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and computerized tomography [CT]). His research concerns using these technologies to diagnose and treat atherosclerosis in its early stages.

Heart Risks and Other Side Effects of Crestor®

Some believe that the link between statins and lowered CoQ10 can damage the heart. Controlled clinical trials have shown that using Crestor® and other statins may be linked to:

  • Muscle pain and damage
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Peripheral neuropathy (a type of nerve damage)
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal muscle-wasting disease (a rare occurrence seen with statins)

Other side effects include headache, dizziness and abdominal pain.

There are no well-controlled studies of Crestor® used by pregnant women, but animal studies show it does cross the placenta and the drug label does say that it may cause fetal harm when used by pregnant women. Nursing mothers should not take Crestor®.

Have You Suffered Heart Complications?

If you were taking Crestor® and suffered heart complications, you might be eligible for financial compensation. To speak with an attorney in a free case review, contact our Crestor® heart failure lawyers today.