First approved by the Food and Drug Administration in August 2003, Crestor is an oral medication prescribed to treat high levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and tryglcerides (certain types of fat in the blood) while increasing the levels of œgood cholesterol (HDL). In February of 2010, Crestor was approved by the FDA to be used to help minimize the risk of heart attack and other heart problems in high risk patients such as those with coronary heart failure or diabetes.
Crestor, generically known as rosuvastatin, is classified as a statin medication (technically an HMG CoA reductase inhibitor), and is marketed in the U.S. by AstraZeneca. Although the tablet medication comes in 5, 10, 20, and 40 milligram doses, approximately 97 percent of international Crestor sales have involved the three smaller doses of the drug.
One year after its initial FDA approval, Crestor generated more than $1 billion in sales and was prescribed to approximately 4 million people worldwide. Crestor is currently still available in the U.S., and its primary competitors include Zocor and Lipitor.
Crestor Side Effects Spark Public Outcry
Although Crestor was effective at lowering cholesterol and seemed to be internationally popular and lucrative for AstraZeneca, Crestor’s side effects were found to include an increase in patients risk of developing rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition in which the muscle tissue rapidly breaks down and releases certain proteins into the blood stream that can severely damage the kidneys, ultimately causing kidney dysfunction. Findings of this serious side effect sparked Public Citizen, an advocacy group, to petition the FDA to pull Crestor from the U.S. market in 2004.
The FDA denied Public Citizen’s petition in 2005, stating that Crestor had the same risk of rhabdomyolysis as other statin drugs. Interestingly, however, at the same time, the FDA also warned the public that patients of Asian ethnicity be prescribed the lowest dose of Crestor, as higher doses can increase their risk of developing serious Crestor side effects.
Along with the risk of developing rhabdomyolysis when taking Crestor, patients taking this drug also face an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (approximately a 9 percent increased risk), according to a study conducted by Elsevier and published in February 2010.
If you or a loved one has been affected by Crestor side effects, you should contact our Crestor lawyers immediately for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to legal compensation, and Chaffin Luhana can help. Call our toll free number today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation: 1-888-480-1123.