Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a brand-name tablet prescribed to treat high cholesterol in adults and some children. As with other drugs, Crestor can cause side effects. These include muscle pain and liver damage.
Crestor is prescribed for the following uses in certain adults:
- helping prevent cardiovascular disease in certain people with a higher risk of coronary heart disease
- managing high cholesterol and hyperlipidemia
- treating a type of primary hyperlipoproteinemia called dysbetalipoproteinemia
- treating high triglyceride levels
- lowering cholesterol levels and slowing the progression of atherosclerosis
- lowering cholesterol levels for heterozygousfamilial hypercholesterolemia(HeFH)
- lowering cholesterol levels for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH)
Crestor is prescribed for the following uses in children:
- lowering cholesterol levels in children ages 8 years and older with HeFH
- lowering cholesterol levels in children ages 7 years and older with HoFH
Crestor can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Crestor in clinical trials:
Mild side effects can occur with Crestor use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Crestor’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects that have been reported with Crestor include:
These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Crestor and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
Crestor may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Crestor’s prescribing information.
If you develop serious side effects while taking Crestor, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:
- Liver damage. Symptoms can include:
- swelling in your lower legs or abdomen
- dark-colored urine
- Muscle damage caused by an immune system reaction. Symptoms can include:
- unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness
- feeling more tired than usual
- Type 2 diabetes. Symptoms can include:
- frequent urination
- increased thirst
- Pancreatitis. Symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain, which may spread to your back
- abdominal pain that worsens after a meal
- tenderness and swelling in your abdomen
- Rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown).*
- High blood sugar.*
- Severe allergic reaction.†
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
† To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Crestor may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.
Will Crestor 10 mg cause fewer side effects than Crestor 20 mg?
It’s possible. In clinical trials, certain side effects were more likely to occur at higher milligram (mg) strengths. The risk of side effects may also depend on several factors, such as your age, liver and kidney function, and any other medications you take.
If you have questions about your Crestor dosage and side effects, talk with your doctor. If you have a high risk of side effects, they’ll typically prescribe a lower daily dose, such as 5 mg per day.
Is Crestor safe for older adults?
Sometimes. A low dose of Crestor is sometimes prescribed to adults ages 65 and older. Adults in this age range may have a higher risk of side effects.
For more information about what to expect with Crestor treatment, talk with your doctor.
Does Crestor cause long-term side effects?
It’s possible. Some of Crestor’s more serious side effects can be long term.
For more details about long-term side effects with Crestor, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Learn more about some of the side effects that Crestor may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Crestor.
High blood sugar
Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
What you can do
A high fiber, low sugar diet can help keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
If you notice any new symptoms of high blood sugar, talk with your doctor. They may help you keep track of your blood sugar using a blood sugar monitor.
It’s possible to experience rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) during treatment with Crestor. This is a severe condition that can become life threatening without treatment. In clinical trials, this side effect was rare.
Symptoms may include severe muscle pain, extreme fatigue, and dark-colored urine.
Without treatment, rhabdomyolysis can cause permanent kidney damage.
What you can do
If you develop symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
The drug manufacturer suggests avoiding certain other medications that may increase your risk of rhabdomyolysis. These include:
- cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
- gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- colchicine (Colcrys)
- darolutamide (Nubeqa)
- regorafenib (Stivarga)
Before starting treatment with Crestor, let your doctor know if you take one of these drugs. Certain other conditions may also increase your risk of rhabdomyolysis. These include shock, electrolyte imbalance, unmanaged epilepsy, and sepsis.
If you develop any of the conditions above, your doctor will likely pause your Crestor treatment. After treating your side effects, your doctor can determine whether it’s safe for you to continue taking Crestor.
Your doctor will also monitor closely for new symptoms of rhabdomyolysis when you start Crestor and after a dosage increase.
Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:
- skin rash
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What you can do
For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Crestor. However, if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Crestor. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These are considered drug-condition or drug-factor interactions. The conditions and factors to consider include:
Certain medications. Certain medications may increase your risk of muscle damage or rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown). These include cyclosporine (cyclosporine), Lopid (gemfibrozil), and Nubeqa (darolutamide). Before you start taking Crestor, be sure to tell your doctor about any other medications you take. They can decide whether Crestor is a safe treatment for your condition.
Asian heritage. Certain people may have a higher risk of side effects. During clinical trials, people with Asian heritage had higher levels of Crestor in the body. Additionally, muscle problems from Crestor were more common in this population. Before starting treatment with this drug, tell your doctor if you have Asian heritage. Due to this risk, they’ll typically prescribe a lower dose of Crestor.
Thyroid problems. If you have unmanaged hypothyroidism, you may have a higher risk of muscle damage and rhabdomyolysis. If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and weight gain, tell your doctor before starting Crestor treatment. They can recommend ways to treat this condition before they prescribe Crestor.
Diabetes. Crestor can increase your blood sugar levels. If you already have high blood sugar because of diabetes, taking Crestor could worsen this side effect. Before taking Crestor, be sure to let your doctor know about any medical conditions you have. They can advise on how often you should monitor your blood sugar during treatment with Crestor.
Kidney problems. If you already have kidney problems, talk with your doctor before you start taking Crestor. Taking this drug with existing kidney problems may increase your risk of rhabdomyolysis. Your doctor can determine whether Crestor is safe to take based on your kidney health.
Older age. If you’re age 65 years or older, you may have a higher risk of muscle damage and rhabdomyolysis with Crestor. If you have concerns about how your age may affect Crestor, talk with your doctor. Due to this risk, they may prescribe a lower dose of Crestor.
Liver problems. Crestor can cause liver damage. If you already have liver disease, taking Crestor could worsen your condition. This drug is not recommended for people with liver failure or unmanaged cirrhosis. If you have liver problems, talk with your doctor before you take Crestor. They may recommend blood tests to monitor liver function during your treatment.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, Crestor is not considered safe for you to take. Be sure to tell your doctor that you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. They can let you know about other treatment options for your condition.
Alcohol consumption. If you drink alcohol, Crestor may not be safe for you to take. Crestor can cause liver damage, and drinking alcohol can make that side effect worse. Talk with your doctor about how much alcohol, if any, is safe to drink while taking Crestor.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Crestor or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Crestor. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be better options for you.
If you’d like to learn more about Crestor, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.
Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:
- More information about Crestor. For details about other aspects of Crestor, refer to this article.
- Cost. If you’d like to learn about Crestor and cost, see this article.
- Drug comparison. To learn how Crestor compares with Lipitor, read this article.
- A look at high cholesterol. For details about high cholesterol, see our cholesterol hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.