Safety Concerns Surround the Latest Statin, Crestor
August 27, 2003
A new cholesterol-lowering statin drug, Crestor, will soonbe hitting the market, joining its highly successful competitorsLipitor and Zocor. In 2002, statin drugs brought in $13 billionin sales. At least 12 million U.S. adults take cholesterol-loweringdrugs.
Crestor, known generically as rosuvastatin, is manufacturedby AstraZeneca. The drug may be slightly better than otherstatins at raising good cholesterol levels and may also bemore powerful than the other statin drugs.
However, the highest, 80-milligram dose of Crestor couldnot be approved because of serious side effects includingmuscle and kidney damage. Some say the drug may produce sideeffects even at lower doses, and caution that patients shouldbe closely monitored when on the drug.
All statin drugs can cause an increase in liver enzymes sopatients must be monitored for normal liver function. Statinscan also cause muscle aches, weakness and, rarely, a dangerousdegenerative muscle tissue condition called rhabdomyolysis.
WashingtonPost August 12, 2003; Page HE01