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Crestor Injury Lawsuits

A February 2012 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug safety communication warned that the anti-cholesterol drug rosuvastatin calcium—sold under the brand name Crestor—might cause kidney damage,  liver damage, rhabdomyolysis, type 2 diabetes, and memory loss.

What Is Crestor? When Is It Prescribed?

Crestor is a brand name for the drug rosuvastatin calcium. Made and sold by the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Plc, this prescription medication is used to treat high cholesterol. The FDA approved Crestor in 2003 after the Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi KK first developed it. Since then, it has been available in 5mg to 40mg oral tablets.

Like other statin-class drugs, Crestor prevents the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase from creating low density lipids (LDLs) in the liver. LDLs are the type of cholesterol that block arteries, so inhibiting their production reduces users’ risks of developing heart disease. Statins are among the most commonly prescribed heart medications in the United States; in 2008 alone, consumers spent $14.5 billion on statins.

Potential Side Effects Are Numerous and Serious

Kidney Damage

Even before it approved Crestor, the FDA expressed concerns over the drug’s tendency to cause kidney damage, a side effect absent in other statin drugs. In October 2004, consumer advocates from an organization called Public Citizen produced studies showing that 29 Crestor users suffered kidney damage and that Crestor is 75 times more likely than other statin-class drugs to cause kidney problems. Public Citizen documented 6.4 cases of kidney damage per million filled prescriptions of Crestor.

Liver Injury

The FDA also determined that Crestor has been associated with liver injury in rare instances. Symptoms of Crestor liver injury include:

  • unusual fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • right upper abdominal discomfort
  • dark urine
  • yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes


In 2005, the FDA issued a Crestor warning because it can cause rhabdomyolysis, a condition characterized by atrophying skeletal muscle tissue. The lost muscle mass (myoglobin) collects in patients’ blood and can cause severe kidney problems and even death. Most of the time, this disease is caused by severe injury such as a muscle being crushed by a heavy object, and in other cases it arises due to extreme alcohol abuse. Primary symptoms include:

  • pain
  • tenderness
  • weakness
  • swelling

The broken-down muscle mass can cause other problems throughout the body such as:

  • electrolytic disturbances
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • coma
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • dark urine
  • oligura or anuria (decreased or non-existent urine production, respectively)
  • internal blood clotting

Treatment includes rapid rehydration, as most cases of rhabdomyolysis are caused by severe accidents. Doctors may also prescribe various drugs to cause myoglobin to disintegrate. In extreme cases, they’ll put patients on dialysis.

Later, in March 2012, the FDA warned the public that Crestor use combined with certain other drugs, namely “protease inhibitors” meant to treat HIV and hepatitis C, can raise the amount of Crestor in users’ blood, which can cause muscle damage. The FDA contraindicates using Crestor with these drugs.

Type 2 Diabetes

On January 9, 2012, the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine published a study analyzing a possible association between statin use in women and type 2 diabetes. The researchers investigated 161,808 women between the ages of 50 and 79 years old who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative over the course of several years. They found that women who took drugs belonging to the statin class were 48 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who did not. The researchers concluded that “statin use is associated with an increased risk for [type 2 diabetes].”

In February 2012, the FDA changed simvastatin’s drug label to reflect the increased risk.

Memory Loss

Also in the February 2012 update, the FDA informed the public that it was investigating reports of Crestor memory loss that occurred to users who had been on the drug for several years. Symptoms arose in every age group, though more often in patients over the age of 50. Examples are:

  • memory loss
  • forgetfulness
  • confusion
  • “fuzzy” or unfocused thinking

RLG’s Lawyers Will Make Things Easier

The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a Crestor lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.

If you have taken Crestor and believe it harmed you, contact RLG today.

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rlg Previous Comments

  1. Guest
    on June 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I began taking 5 mg. of Crestor a day five years ago to lower my cholesterol. Since then, my strength has diminished, developed joint pain, fatigue, and an inability to gain strength through my weight training. Starting this year, 2012, I noticed my strength suddenly disappeared. I was unable to lift the same amount of weight from one day to the next and the weights appeared to be welded to the bench equipment. This was early January 2012, on March 30, 2012 I began to urinate an extreme amount of blood. I was seen at the E.R. three separate times, initially said to be Kidney stones, and was finally found to have two large masses in my left kidney. The kidney was removed and the pathology report indicated cancerous tumors. During my recent research I found the terrible side effects of Crestor, and which could be compounded my hypertension. I had considered myself a very healthy individual until I began being treated for my hypertension in my early forties. I am fifty-two now and find myself with one kidney and worried about what could happen to the remaining one. I find myself doubting the medical system that is here to help and thinking they may have been the cause of my recent problem.

  2. Guest
    on April 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I have been taking megadoses of Crestor (40mg daily) for years. I used to be very muscularly strong, but now have lost my strength and get muscle fatigue very easily. My muscles ache like a toothache and I get fatigued very easily. I have had kidney function problems since starting taking Crestor many years ago, especially with creatinine levels. I had a double bypass surgery in 2009 and had to stay in intensive care for 5 or 6 days because of kidney function levels. I have had repeated unexplainable in my circumflex artery of the heart requiring placement of many stents. Each time I am in the hospital, I have a kidney function problem. I have had a lot of memory loss and confusion over the last few years, which has really been noticed by my wife and daughter. I am 56 years old and used to be very athletically oriented and very proud of my strength, but now I find it very hard to function at my job like I should be able to because of fatigue and physical weakness. I have worked. At a very physical job in the golf course business for 33 years at the same course, and they have been very patient and understanding with me or I may have had to possibly stop working at this job. What has been coming out about Crestor's side effects recently really explains a lot to me, and it really makes me mad that the FDA allowed this drug to be approved given the warnings by experts in the field about it's severe side effects. I am also mad that AstraZeneca has never contacted me to ask about any problems with their product.

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