The Nature of the Drug: Crestor (also known by its generic name rosuvastatin) is a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. In 2011, Crestor’s manufacturer AstraZeneca plc reported $6.6 billion in global sales of the product.

Crestor is used to prevent and treat heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. The drug impedes the dangerous process by which bad cholesterol accumulates in the arteries and thereby diminishes blood flow to the heart, brain, or other parts of the body. Crestor decreases bad cholesterol that restricts arterial blood flow, by Crestor’s lowering the user’s level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). And Crestor encourages arterial blood flow by increasing good cholesterol—a substance that protects against heart disease—by raising the user’s level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

The Hazards of Crestor: Studies have linked Crestor to serious side effects, including muscle damage, memory loss, kidney damage or failure, liver damage, diabetes, rhabdomyolysis (death of muscle fibers that can lead to compromised kidney function), and cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). Some of the damage is irreversible, such as kidney damage from rhabdomyolysis.

In 2004, the FDA issued a public-health advisory warning that the drug can cause muscle damage, particularly in Asian populations. The non-profit Public Citizen petitioned the FDA for an immediate recall; but the FDA found that Crestor’s risk of causing muscle damage was not greater than that of similar statins, so the agency ruled merely that Crestor’s label should be updated. AstraZeneca followed up by placing warnings on the drug’s packaging.
In 2012, a lawsuit linked Crestor to sudden cardiac death. Another suit alleged that AstraZeneca and its distributors had marketed the drug knowing that it could cause serious side effects.

To Obtain Legal Relief: People who have been injured by taking the statin drug Crestor may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.