Crestor is a prescription drug used to treat and prevent stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003. The drug’s manufacturer, AstraZeneca, reached $6.6 billion in global sales by 2011. Crestor is in a group of drugs called statins, which are estimated to make more than $20 billion in annual sales.
Research shows that 22 percent of Americans, age 45 and older, take a statin to regulate their cholesterol levels. These drugs are prevalent in today’s pharmaceutical market, as one in every three U.S. deaths is caused by heart disease or stroke. While Crestor has helped many patients stay heart-healthy, it has also caused deadly side effects. These side effects include type 2 diabetes, memory loss, liver damage, and a rare disease called rhabdomyolosis.
What Is Crestor?
Crestor’s active ingredient is rosuvastatin. It works to control low density lipoprotein-C, or LDL cholesterol. LDL is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, as it can build up inside the arteries. This causes an obstruction of blood that flows to the brain, heart, and elsewhere in the body. AstraZeneca claims that Crestor can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 52 percent.
Crestor also works to increase levels of high density lipoprotein-C, or HDL cholesterol. This type of cholesterol can help prevent heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. HDL is also believed to decrease a patient’s need for heart surgery.
Originally, Crestor was used to treat patients with high LDL cholesterol and heart disease history. In 2010, the drug received FDA-approval as a prevention treatment for stroke, heart attack, and death in patients with fairly good health but high levels of C-reactive protein. Excessive C-reactive protein in the body indicates inflammation.
Crestor is typically prescribed based on two main risk factors. The first is if the patient is a man over age 50 or woman over age 60 that has elevated C-reactive protein levels. The other risk factor is cardiovascular health. The patient should also experience a cardiovascular issue such as heart disease family history, low HDL, smoking, or high blood pressure.
Crestor Side Effects
Side effects from using Crestor can range from minor to severe. Common side effects can include constipation, coughing, heartburn, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms typically do not interfere heavily with a patient’s health and lifestyle. However, more serious side effects can cause death.
Type 2 Diabetes
One study shows that Crestor patients who had previously exhibited one diabetes risk factor have a 28 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even lower doses were shown to increase the risk. Other research reveals that other statins can also increase the risk of diabetes.
Rhabdomyolosis is a rare but potentially fatal disease. It causes excessive damage to the body’s muscles. When muscles break down, they release fiber contents called myoglobin into the bloodstream. The kidney then filters myoglobin from the blood. However, broken-down myoglobin releases substances that can cause kidney damage. Ultimately, kidney failure and death can occur.
There are several lawsuits against AstraZeneca for harm caused to Crestor patients, including type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and cardiomyopathy. Plaintiffs allege that AstraZeneca engaged in fraudulent concealment of the dangers of using Crestor. AstraZeneca is accused of knowing about the deadly side effects but continuing to market the defective drug despite this knowledge. These claims assert that AstraZeneca failed to publish study results that showed the dangers of Crestor.
Additionally, plaintiffs allege that AstraZeneca used deceptive practices and misleading statements to market Crestor. These marketing messages failed to adequately warn consumers of the severity or Crestor side effects. Crestor patients or family members of patients who wish to file a lawsuit should speak with an experienced lawyer to discuss filing a claim.