Crestor was second (only to Synthroid) in amount of monthly prescriptions filled between July 2013 - June 2014 according to data from the research firm IMS Health.  In that time period, approximately 22.5 million prescriptions of Crestor were filled.  The average retail price for thirty pills of Crestor 10 mg is around $250 - you can see how Crestor sales are over $5 billion/year!  Until Crestor goes generic (loses its patent in 2016), expect to pay more for this drug than most other statins.  

Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a cholesterol lowering drug in the drug class of statins.  The statins are the most powerful drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol, with reductions between 30 to 63 percent.  Other members of the statin drug class are Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), and lovastatin.  Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a little more potent than Lipitor (atorvastatin) and at maximum prescribed doses the LDL reduction is greater with rosuvastatin and atorvastatin than with the other statin drugs.  

What is it for
Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a cholesterol-lowering drug that is prescribed when diet and exercise are not enough to get cholesterol to goal.  Crestor lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL-C) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL-C).  

How does it work
Crestor (rosuvastatin) inhibits HMG-CoA reductase which is the rate-limiting enzyme in cholesterol synthesis.  Rosuvastatin also increases the liver breakdown of cholesterol already in the blood.  

What are the side effects
The most common side effects are:


  • Headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Abdominal pain

  • Weakness

  • Nausea

  • New onset diabetes mellitus (3%)

What else should I know


  • You should not take if you are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant, or have had an allergic reaction to rosuvastatin

  • Your dose may need to be adjusted in liver disease

  • If you have signs of an allergic reaction, very bad stomach pain, blood in the urine, are unable to pass urine, muscle pain, signs of liver disease (dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow-skin or eyes), call your doctor immediately

  • Make sure that your doctor and pharmacist know all of the medications that you are taking (including over the counter medications) so that they can check for drug-drug interactions

  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to monitor your blood sugar closely

  • Store rosuvastatin at room temperature in a dry place

  • Take rosuvastatin at the same time each day, with or without food

  • If you miss a dose of rosuvastatin, take the medication as soon as you think about it; if it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time; do not take 2 doses at the same time or within 12 hours of each other

EducationJoanna Simmon