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The Crestor Drug Lawsuit

Crestor, the brand name for the drug rosuvastatin, is given to patients to lower blood cholesterol levels and to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Crestor has recently been linked to serious health risks such as type II diabetes and liver damage. Crestor is the number two selling statin drug.

What is Crestor?

Crestor, one of the leading statin drugs, was released in 2003. It is used in children and adults to reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and cardiovascular disease. Crestor’s sales have sky-rocketed, reaching global sales of $6.6 billion in 2011, a small portion of the more than $20 billion which is spent annually worldwide on statins. Crestor has grown in popularity as the population continues to suffer from unprecedented levels of diabetes, poor diet, and obesity. Crestor is effective for many consumers, but for others it can increase the risk of memory loss, type 2 diabetes, muscle pain, liver damage, and a muscle disease called rhabdomyolysis. Information concerning the risks of Crestor has been updated by the Food and Drug Administration.

What is Crestor used for?

In 2010, the FDA approved Crestor as another treatment option to for patients that have not necessarily had a cardiovascular event. For example, Crestor can now be used for patients who are at increased risk of heart disease but have not been diagnosed, men 50 years of age with elevated high sensitivity C-reactive protein and one other cardiovascular risk factor, women 60 years or older with elevated high sensitivity C-reactive protein in their blood and one other cardiovascular risk factor, or to slow the progression of atherosclerosis (a thickening of the artery wall caused by the build-up of cholesterol and other fatty materials within the blood).

  • Transient Ischemic Attacks
  • Strokes
  • Fatty deposits in an individual’s blood vessels
  • Heart attacks
  • Blood cholesterol levels
  • Triglyceride levels
  • Homozygous Inherited High Blood Cholesterol
  • Heterozygous Inherited High Blood Cholesterol

Crestor Usage and Statistics

According to the Internet Stroke Center, strokes are the the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Each year close to 800,000 people have strokes, with most of them occurring in individuals over the age of sixty-five. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and strokes, are the leading cause of death in the United States. While many of these individuals have been treated for heart disease, many more are undiagnosed and not currently receiving proper medical treatment. Federal Officials report, however, there are more Americans taking cholesterol-lowering medications than ever before. In fact, according to the CDC, “The percentage of adults aged 40 and older taking drugs that combat high cholesterol rose from 20 percent to 28 percent between 2003 and 2012.” Currently, it’s estimated that 93% of the adults currently taking cholesterol lowering medications are using a statin. Despite risks of certain medications, such as Crestor, Medical experts continue to argue that statin therapy is one of the most effective, highly-valuable, preventative treatment options available, and statins continue to present an opportunity to further reduce death and disability due to heart disease and stroke.

How Crestor Works

Marketed by AstraZeneca, Crestor is part of a group of drugs referred to as HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins. It helps users by reducing what experts refer to as “bad cholesterol” or the low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides in the blood, eliminating or reducing the slow build-up of plaque in a patient’s blood vessels (which can lead to heart issues and stroke).

Side Effects of Crestor

  • Side-effects of taking Crestor can range from the minor to the severe. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns. Minor Side-effects can include:
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Mild Muscle Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach pain
  • Tenderness and weakness
  • Severe Side-effects:
  • Severe muscle breakdown
  • Kidney Damage
  • Muscles issues which do not abate after medication is stopped
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Increase in blood sugar levels
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Crestor Medical Studies

Although the initial medical studies on the use of statins to treat cardiovascular issue was initially very promising, statins have recently come under fire. Some experts now warn that the earlier studies may not have been sufficient and did not fully examine some of the serious side-effects of statin use. New warnings include cautioning patients that statin use may increase their risk for liver injury, memory loss, diabetes, and muscle damage. Although the FDA has updated their warning about statin drugs, the FDA continues to maintain that statin’s benefits outweigh their potentially negative side-effects for most patients.

Crestor Black Box Warnings

  • Medical studies suggest Crestor can be dangerous for patients who are 65 years or older, who have hypothyroidism which cannot be controlled, who have kidney issues, or who are taking high doses of Crestor. Patients who are taking other medications (i.e. medications used to treat HIV, such as protease inhibitors, and drugs used to treat certain bacterial and fungal infections) should also avoid Crestor. Medical experts also warn patients against taking Crestor if they have a history of liver issues or symptoms of weakness, loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, yellowing of the skin, and/or dark urine. Patients who experience any type of memory loss or confusion or any other side-effects which do not go away should also consult with a doctor immediately. Side-effects can be reported to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In 2012, the FDA also updated their warnings for statins. Updated warning labels are now included for all of the following medications: Lipitor (atorvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release), Livalo (pitavastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin). Warnings were also included for the following products: Advicor (lovastatin/niacin extended-release), Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release), and Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe). According to the FDA, while there are some risks associated with the use of statins, the FDA believes, “These medications continue to provide an important health benefit for lowering cholesterol.”