Crestor (rosuvastatin) is manufactured and marketed by AstraZeneca and received United States Food and Drug Administration (>FDA) approval in 2003. It is included in the class of drugs known as statins, which are used to lower cholesterol levels in people at risk for or with cardiovascular disease.
The original FDA approval of Crestor had been delayed for a year when in May 2002, the FDA expressed a concern of potential kidney and muscle complications. All statins are associated with rhabdomyolysis, a deadly muscle disorder, and massive kidney failure. In fact another statin, Baycol, was withdrawn from the market by Bayer in 2001.
Those with advanced age, hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid), and kidney disease are likelier to experience rhabdomyolysis, which occurs when a massive amount of muscle protein is released into the bloodstream after a large number of skeletal muscle cells die. The muscle protein becomes trapped in the kidneys and affects their filtering process, which leads them to fail. Potassium released from the damaged muscle cells can also cause malignant heart rhythms and cardiac arrest.
It has turned out that those using Crestor have reported a much higher incidence of kidney problems than for all other statins combined. Some argue that Crestor should never have been introduced in the US market because while Baycol’s side effects appeared only after its approval, Crestor’s had appeared during trials.
Potential side effects of Crestor include:
- Musculoskeletal symptoms – muscle pain, stiffness, joint pain
- Kidney damage
- Rhabdomyolysis - symptoms include muscle pain, tenderness, weakness, dark urine, malaise, fever, nausea, and vomiting
- Liver damage – symptoms include jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, dark urine, and clay-colored stools
- Malignant heart rhythms and cardiac arrest
- Sexual dysfunction and performance problems
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
If you or a loved one has kidney problems or been otherwise injured due to the use of Crestor, you should contact a pharmaceutical injury attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. You should act quickly, however, because statutes of limitations, or time limits by which you may file a suit, may apply.