Crestor (Rosuvastatin) – Oral

What Is Crestor?

Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a prescription lipid-lowering medication. Lipids are fats in the body, and elevated lipid levels increase the risk of blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes. This medication is available in tablet form to be taken by mouth.

Crestor is considered a statin. It lowers lipids by reducing the formation and increasing the breakdown of certain lipid molecules. Crestor inhibits HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Rosuvastatin

Brand Name(s): Crestor, Ezallor Sprinkle

Drug Availability: Prescription

Therapeutic Classification: Antihyperlipidemic

Available Generically: Yes

Controlled Substance: N/A

Administration Route: Oral

Active Ingredient: Rosuvastatin calcium

Dosage Form: Tablet, capsule

What Is Crestor Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Crestor to treat several different conditions that are characterized by high fat and cholesterol levels. This may include high measures of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, considered "bad"), triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB, a protein on the fat particles), and low measures of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, considered "good") cholesterol.

Crestor treats hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat and cholesterol) that occurs due to certain diseases as well as due to primary hyperlipidemia (without another known cause). It is approved for use for children as young as 7 years old for some conditions. Often, dietary modifications are recommended along with Crestor to help balance fat and cholesterol levels. 

Crestor is approved for:

  • Adults with primary hyperlipidemia and mixed dyslipidemia in addition to diet to reduce elevated total cholesterol, LDL, ApoB, non-HDL cholesterol, and TG levels, and to increase HDL.
  • Children age 8 to 17 with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia to reduce elevated total cholesterol, LDL, and ApoB if diet therapy is not effective.
  • Children age 7 to 17 with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia to reduce LDL, total cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and ApoB as an add-on (adjunct) therapy to diet, either alone or with other lipid-lowering treatments.
  • Adults with hypertriglyceridemia as an adjunct to diet
  • Adults with primary dysbetalipoproteinemia as an adjunct to diet
  • Adults with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia to reduce LDL, total cholesterol, and ApoB
  • Slowing the progression of atherosclerosis as part of a treatment strategy to lower total cholesterol and LDL as an adjunct to diet
  • Risk reduction of myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, and arterial revascularization procedures in people without clinically evident coronary heart disease, but with multiple risk factors

Crestor is used long-term to gradually reach target lipid levels and reduce the risks associated with having high lipids and low HDL.

Crestor (Rosuvastatin) Drug Information - Illustration by Dennis Madamba

Verywell / Dennis Madamba

How to Take Crestor

Your healthcare provider would prescribe Crestor for once-a-day dosing to take any time of the day, with or without food. You should swallow the tablet whole.

Storage

Store Crestor in its original container and away from the reach of children or pets. Keep it in a dry place at a room temperature between 68 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not store it in the bathroom or other areas containing moisture.

Off-Label Uses

Healthcare providers sometimes prescribe medications for off-label use, meaning for conditions that it is not FDA approved for but has shown benefit in treating.

Crestor has a few off-label uses. Crestor has been prescribed off-label for children younger than age 7 diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia.

Other off label uses of Crestor include:

  • Treatment after a stroke
  • Before percutaneous coronary intervention for an acute cardiac (heart) event

Crestor has been shown to reduce brain or heart damage when used in these situations.

What Are the Side Effects of Crestor?

The common side effects of Crestor are bothersome, but not dangerous. This medication can also cause serious side effects.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of Crestor are:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Abdominal pain
  • Generalized weakness
  • Nausea

Tell your healthcare provider if you experience these side effects. Another problem, not Crestor, could be causing these symptoms. Treatment for the underlying cause would then be required. If these symptoms result from taking Crestor, your provider may suggest or prescribe a treatment to help alleviate them.

Severe Side Effects

Crestor can cause serious side effects that can be harmful to your health.

Severe side effects of Crestor are:

  • Muscle problems: Myopathy (muscle disease) and rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) can cause muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, and can be serious when accompanied by a fever.
  • Liver damage: This can cause abnormalities in liver enzymes, feeling extremely tired or weak, upper-abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the skin or eyes).

Your healthcare provider may monitor you for changes in your liver enzymes while taking Crestor. Notify your provider if you experience signs of muscle or liver damage. Let your doctor know if your muscle pains continue after you are asked to stop Crestor. Further testing may be needed.

Long-Term Side Effects

Liver damage can be long-lasting, potentially causing health problems after you stop taking Crestor. Rhabdomyolysis can cause kidney damage, and it may take a long time for the muscles to recover.  



Report Side Effects

Crestor may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Crestor Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia:
      • Adults—At first, 20 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 40 mg.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For hypertriglyceridemia or primary dysbetalipoproteinemia (Type III hyperlipoproteinemia):
      • Adults—At first, 10 to 20 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 40 mg.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For atherosclerosis:
      • Adults—5 to 40 milligrams (mg) once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia:
      • Adults—5 to 40 milligrams (mg) once a day.
      • Children 10 to 17 years of age—5 to 20 mg per day.
      • Children 8 to 9 years of age—5 to 10 mg per day.
      • Children younger than 8 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia:
      • Adults—At first, 20 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
      • Children 7 to 17 years of age—20 mg once a day.
      • Children younger than 7 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

This medication may be prescribed at lower than the standard dose for people who have severe kidney disease (not on hemodialysis) and for people of Asian descent due to increased plasma concentrations of the drug.

Missed Dose

If you miss your scheduled dose, you should take your Crestor soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, you should take Crestor without doubling up on your dose, and then resume your regular schedule.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Crestor?

If you take too much Crestor, you would be at increased risk of developing the side effects of this medication. Tell your healthcare provider if you have taken too much. You might need medical observation and treatment to alleviate your symptoms.

What Happens If I Overdose on Crestor?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Crestor, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).
If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Crestor, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine if you have a major surgery, major injury, or if you develop other serious health problems.

Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have unusual tiredness or a fever. These may be symptoms of serious muscle problems, such as myopathy or immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM).

Call your doctor right away if you have dark urine, fever, muscle cramps or spasms, muscle pain or stiffness, or unusual tiredness or weakness. These could be symptoms of a serious muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney problems.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Do not stop or change your dose without checking first with your doctor, even if you are feeling well.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Crestor?

You should not use Crestor if you:

  • Have or have had an allergic reaction to rosuvastatin calcium or other ingredients in Crestor
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have liver problems

What Other Medications Interact With Crestor?

Crestor has many medication interactions. Your prescriber may need to make dosing adjustments or monitor for signs of interactions if you need to use medications that could potentially interact with each other.

It is not recommended to take Crestor with:

  • Certain antifungal medications, including traconazole, ketoconazole, and fluconazole
  • Colcrys (colchicine) to treat gout
  • Fibric acid derivatives, including fenofibrate
  • Hepatitis C drugs, including Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir), Olysio (simeprevir), or Vosevi (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs, including lopinavir, ritonavir, fosamprenavir, tipranavir, atazanavir
  • Lopid (gemfibrozil) for lowering high cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Niacin
  • Nubeqa (darolutamide) for prostate cancer
  • Stivarga (regorafenib) to treat colorectal cancer

Other interactions include:

  • Taking Crestor with cyclosporine, darolutamide, regorafenib, certain antiviral medicines, or other lipid-lowering medications can increase the risks of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis.
  • Taking Crestor with cyclosporine, darolutamide, or regorafenib increases the level of Crestor in the body.
  • Taking Crestor with blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) increases the effect of warfarin and poses a bleeding risk.

What Medications Are Similar?

There are several medications used for lowering lipids, including statins.

Other statins besides Crestor include:


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Crestor used for?

    Crestor is used to lower harmful lipids and increase beneficial HDL cholesterol for adults who have harmful levels and for adults and children who have conditions that cause abnormal lipid levels.  

  • How does Crestor work?

    This medication prevents the production of certain lipids and promotes lipid breakdown. It inhibits HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that has a role in lipid production.

  • How long does it take for Crestor to work?

    This medication can have measurable effects on your lipid levels in about two to four weeks.

  • What are the side effects of Crestor?

    Common side effects include headaches, muscle aches, abdominal pain, weakness, and nausea. Serious side effects include liver damage and muscle breakdown.

  • How do I stop taking Crestor?

    You should follow your healthcare provider's instructions for reducing or stopping Crestor.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Crestor?

In general, this medication is used along with a cholesterol-lowering diet. Your healthcare provider may also recommend exercise to help reduce harmful cholesterol and increase HDL.

It is important that you maintain regular follow-up visits with your provider so you can have your lipid levels measured. Additionally, you should be familiar with the signs of heart attack and stroke (complications of hyperlipidemia) so you can get urgent medical attention if you need it.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Wu B, Wang Y, Li W, Dong R, Dun C. The effect of rosuvastatin on cardiogenic cerebral infarction. Am J Transl Res. 2021 Aug 15;13(8):9444-9450. PMID: 34540064; PMCID: PMC8430200

  3. Food and Drug Administration. Crestor full prescribing information.

  4. Borovac JA, Leth-Olsen M, Kumric M, et al. Efficacy of high-dose atorvastatin or rosuvastatin loading in patients with acute coronary syndrome undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials with GRADE qualification of available evidence. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2021 Aug 23. doi:10.1007/s00228-021-03196-9

By Heidi Moawad, MD
Heidi Moawad is a neurologist and expert in the field of brain health and neurological disorders. Dr. Moawad regularly writes and edits health and career content for medical books and publications.