Crestor is a prescription drug designed to control unhealthy cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Everyone has “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels. When bad cholesterol is too high, it can cause a variety of health problems, including heart attacks‚ strokes‚ and arteriosclerosis. You can improve cholesterol levels by eating a better diet, but some believe this is not always enough in severe situations – which is why cholesterol drugs were created.
One of the most popular cholesterol medications is Crestor, a synthetic lipid-lowering medication approved for treating hypercholesterolemia. The drug, manufactured by AstraZeneca and approved by the FDA in 2003, is classified as a statin, which means it works by inhibiting cholesterol production by the liver. Originally, the drug was to be used to treat a limited population with bad cholesterol and a history of heart attack, but use of the drug was expanded by the FDA in 2010 to allow for use in healthy patients to reduce their risk for heart attacks, strokes, and deaths.
Crestor was prescribed to improve good and bad cholesterol levels, but many users experienced side effects – some of which were severe. It is expected that all drugs will produce some side effects, but in the case of Crestor, some of those side effects were deadly.
Crestor and Kidney Damage
Many Crestor users suffered kidney damage and studies show the risk of kidney damage could be a much as 75% higher for Crestor users. Other studies show general risks of using Crestor are as much as 7% higher than with other cholesterol drugs.
The drug has also been linked to Rhabdomyolysis, a disease that breaks down muscle tissue. There is evidence that muscle tissue eventually clogged the kidneys in some users, further boosting their risk for renal failure.
One study, published in March 2015 in the journal BMJ, showed people taking higher doses of statins like Crestor were 34% more likely to be hospitalized for acute kidney injury within the first 120 days of treatment, compared to those taking lower doses. Researchers speculated the increased risk was related to the breakdown of muscle tissue.
In addition to kidney disease, Crestor can trigger a number of other side effects, including:
• Back Pain
• Muscle pain
• Flu syndrome
• Urinary tract infection
• Pharyngitis (a specific kind of sore throat)
• Fatigue and lack of energy
• Abdominal pain
• Memory loss and confusion
Many former users of Crestor also claim they developed type 2 diabetes after using the drug.
Crestor Users Take Legal Action
A growing number of former Crestor users throughout the country are now pursuing legal action against AstraZeneca, alleging the drug manufacturer failed to adequately research Crestor or warn doctor and consumers of the potential risks associated with the drug. Many claimed if they'd known the risks of taking the drug they would not have prescribed or used it.
According to legal claims, AstraZeneca:
• Knew or should have known about the risks associated with Crestor
• Concealed information from consumers and the medical community
• Ignored available information and fraudulently concealed the risk of diabetes
Lawsuits also allege there should have been warnings placed on Crestor labels once the risks were known or the drug should have been recalled.
In 2004, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed a petition with the FDA demanding Crestor be recalled from the market because of its severe side effects and the availability of safer alternatives. The group believes the drug would have never been approved had AstraZeneca disclosed the risks earlier.