Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Rosuvastatin

Rosuvastatin is indicated for the lowering of blood cholesterol in patients for whom diet, exercise and weight loss have proven ineffective.

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Rosuvastatin is the active ingredient of Crestor.

General information

Rosuvastatin is indicated for the lowering of blood cholesterol in patients for whom diet, exercise and weight loss have proven ineffective.

Your doctor may prescribe this drug to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (for instance, a heart attack) or having a stroke, when you are considered to be at risk.

Rosuvastatin is not a cure for high cholesterol, but keeps it under control. To be effective, it has to be taken regularly, even if you do not notice an immediate effect. The full benefit will only be seen after 4-6 weeks, and time should be allowed for rosuvastatin reach its full effect.

Side effects may include muscle pain, inflammation and muscle damage, all typical with statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. Should you experience any of these, contact your doctor.

How does it work?

Rosuvastatin works by blocking an enzyme in the liver required for the manufacture of cholesterol. As an indirect result, the total blood level of bad cholesterol - LDL - is lowered. Levels of HDL - the good cholesterol - are elevated.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 4

Available as: Tablets

What does it do? Rosuvastatin lowers high cholesterol

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? No

Available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Dietary advice: A healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-fibre diet is advised for optimal results.

Stopping: Rosuvastatin should not be stopped suddenly without consulting your doctor. Once discontinued, blood cholesterol levels may return to the original elevated levels.

Prolonged use: Long-term use can affect liver function. Muscle function may also be affected. Your doctor may perform periodic tests to keep an eye on these risk factors.

Special precautions

Alert your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have a liver or kidney disease,
  • you have a disease affecting your muscles,
  • you are consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis,
  • you are younger than 18, or
  • you are taking other medication.

Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not intended for use in children.

Elderly: No special precautions need be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: No special precautions need be taken.

Alcohol: Avoid excessive alcohol use as it may increase the risk of liver-related complications

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Nausea

x

x

Headache

x

x

Constipation

x

x

Abdominal pain

x

x

Dizziness/ light-headedness

x

x

Fever

x

x

Chest pain

x

x

Unexplained muscle pain/ weakness

x

x

Skin rash

x

x

Jaundice

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Antacids

Reduced effect of rosuvastatin

Clarithromycin and erythromycin antibiotics

Increased risk of muscle damage

Antifungal drugs

Increased risk of muscle damage

Other cholesterol-lowering drugs

Increased risk of muscle damage

Warfarin

Increased risk of warfarin toxicity

Ciclosporin and other immunosuppressive drugs

Increased risk of muscle damage

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have a liver or kidney disease, or if you have a disease affecting your muscles.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 10-40 mg/day.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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