Crestor® (generic name: rosuvastatin) is an FDA-approved drug that slows fatty deposit build-up in the walls of blood vessels. It works to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol while increasing levels of healthy, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. By lowering cholesterol levels, Crestor 10mg can help prevent heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease, especially for sufferers of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Why is the Level of Cholesterol Significant?
Cholesterol comes from two sources. A healthy liver manufactures almost all the cholesterol the body needs. Also, it gets some mainly from meats, poultry and dairy products. These foods are high in saturated and trans fats. Oils used as ingredients in baked and manufactured foods, such as palm, palm kernel and coconut oil, also contain high levels of saturated fat. An oversupply of these fats can cause the liver to make more cholesterol than it would otherwise, creating a high cholesterol level in the blood.
One of the main unhealthy consequences of high cholesterol levels comes from the process called atherosclerosis, in which a fatty build-up, or plaque, is deposited on the inner walls of arteries. Plaque is made up of hardened cholesterol deposits that cause the inside of the arteries to narrow over time. This narrowing increases the risk of coronary artery disease. It can lead to heart attacks and strokes if a blood clot gets trapped in a narrowed section, which can cut off the supply of oxygen to the heart muscles or brain.
What is the Difference between “Bad” and “Good” Cholesterol?
There is nothing inherently bad about cholesterol. In fact, it is essential in the body for normal functions like building cell walls. The problems associated with cholesterol arise when there is an imbalance between the intake of fats (cholesterols and triglycerides) and excretion, which leaves too much cholesterol circulating in the blood.
One form of cholesterol is LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is often called “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to atherosclerosis. Excess LDL and other fats like triglycerides may be deposited as plaque.
The other form is HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which can be considered the “good” cholesterol because a healthy level can protect against heart attack and stroke. HDL cholesterol transports LDL cholesterol back to the liver, where it is broken down and excreted from the body. However, normal levels of HDL cholesterol are only sufficient to eliminate between one-quarter and one-third of LDL.
As well as LDL and HDL, triglycerides also contribute to fatty deposits in the arteries. Triglycerides store excess energy from food intake, and are the most common type of fat in the body.
A high triglyceride level combines with cholesterol to produce the fatty plaque build-ups within the artery walls, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
How Does Crestor Work?
Crestor belongs to a family of drugs known as statins, or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Statins are a class of lipid-lowering medications that plays a central role in controlling the levels of cholesterol. (Lipids are in the molecular group that includes fats.) Statins are widely prescribed for people at high risk of cardiovascular disease because of pre-existing atherosclerosis and as a preventative medication to prevent plaque deposits from forming.
Statins are effective in lowering LDL cholesterol and also increase the levels of HDL. Crestor is widely used for the prevention of strokes and heart attacks in people who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. It can also be prescribed as a treatment for those who have already had either a heart attack or a stroke.
Crestor has two functions in controlling the levels of LDL. Most of the cholesterol in the body is manufactured in the liver. Crestor works to lower the levels of LDL by blocking an enzyme that is essential in the creation of cholesterols, so the liver produces less LDL overall. It also increases HDL levels, which aids in the absorption and elimination of LDL that has been returned to the liver.
These two processes have the effect of combining to slow plaque build-up in the arteries.
Is Crestor Safe?
Rosuvastatin has been approved for medical use in the United States for nearly twenty years. It is in the top-thirty most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than thirty million prescriptions annually.
What are the Side Effects of Crestor?
Mild side effects of Crestor include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle pain. These usually disappear within a few days, but you should consult with your prescribing doctor or dispensing pharmacist if they persist.
Very rarely, more serious side effects have been reported. These include liver failure, muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) and kidney failure. Severe liver disease or liver failure caused by statins is very rare.
Statins sometimes cause mild abnormalities in liver tests due to injury to the liver. The abnormalities usually disappear with continued therapy. Liver function tests will usually be ordered by the prescribing doctor at the beginning of treatment and then again as needed.
Rhabdomyolysis, or muscle breakdown, is an infrequent but serious side effect of statin therapy mainly when the dose is much higher than Crestor 10mg. It is a process in which muscle injury leads to the release of myoglobin (a muscle protein) into the blood and severe pain. Excess myoglobin can cause kidney failure. Should you develop unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, you should report the symptoms to your healthcare professional.