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Generic Name:

rosuvastatin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Crestor
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for rosuvastatin

Oral tablet
1

Rosuvastatin is a prescription drug. It’s used to treat high cholesterol, including conditions that are genetic (passed down through families). It’s also used to prevent heart disease. Rosuvastatin is used to reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels.

2

Rosuvastatin comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

This medication is available as a brand-name drug called Crestor. It’s also available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug can include headache, pain in the abdomen (stomach area), muscle pain, nausea, or weakness.

5

Serious side effects of this drug can include severe muscle problems and liver problems. While you take this drug, your doctor will monitor you for symptoms of these problems.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Severe muscle problems

This medication can cause severe muscle problems. These include myopathy, with symptoms such as muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Myopathy can lead to rhabdomyolysis. With this condition, muscle breaks down and can cause kidney damage and even death. If you notice unusual pain or weakness in your muscles, call your doctor right away. Your doctor may decide to stop this medication.

Liver problems

This drug can increase levels of your liver enzymes. Increased liver enzymes can be a sign of liver damage. Your doctor may check these levels to make sure that this drug is not harming your liver.

What is rosuvastatin?

This drug is a prescription drug. It comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

This medication is available as a brand-name drug called Crestor. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

This drug is used to reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also reduces levels of triglycerides (fat) in your blood. Improving your cholesterol levels helps prevent blockages from forming in your arteries. These blockages can cause serious problems, including heart attack or stroke.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called statins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by blocking enzymes in your liver that make cholesterol. This lowers your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also raises your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

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SECTION 2 of 5

rosuvastatin Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that can occur with use of rosuvastatin include:

  • headache

  • pain in the abdomen (stomach area)

  • muscle pain

  • nausea

  • weakness

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Severe muscle problems. Symptoms can include:

    • unexplained or unusual muscle pain
    • weakness
    • fever
  • Liver problems. Symptoms can include:

    • unexplained or unusual weakness
    • decrease in appetite
    • pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
    • dark-colored urine
    • yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

rosuvastatin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Rosuvastatin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of liver problems from rosuvastatin. Tell your doctor if you drink more than 2 glasses of alcohol per day. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have active liver disease or a history of liver problems.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Acid-reducing drugs

When taken with rosuvastatin, certain antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium can decrease the amount of rosuvastatin in your blood. This makes it less effective, and it won’t work as well to treat your condition. These drugs should be taken at least two hours after taking rosuvastatin. Examples of these drugs include:

  • aluminum hydroxide
  • magnesium hydroxide

Blood thinners

Warfarin is used to thin the blood. Taking this drug with rosuvastatin can increase your INR. This is a measure of how quickly your blood clots. Your INR may need to be measured more often when you start taking rosuvastatin or if your doctor changes your dosage.

Cholesterol drugs

Some other drugs used to treat high cholesterol can increase the levels of rosuvastatin in your blood. This raises your risk of muscle problems. Before taking these drugs, make sure your doctor knows that you take rosuvastatin. Examples of these drugs include:

  • niacin
  • gemfibrozil
  • fenofibrate

HIV drugs

When taken with rosuvastatin, certain drugs used to treat HIV can increase levels of rosuvastatin in your body. This raises your risk of side effects from rosuvastatin. These side effects include muscle problems such as muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness. Examples of these drugs include protease inhibitors such as:

  • atazanavir
  • indinavir
  • lopinavir
  • nelfinavir
  • ritonavir

Immune suppression drugs

Cyclosporine is used to decrease the strength of the immune system. Using this drug with rosuvastatin can increase levels of rosuvastatin in your body. This raises your risk of side effects from rosuvastatin. These side effects include muscle problems such as muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
liver problems
People with liver problems

You are at higher risk of severe muscle problems from taking this drug. Talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

You are at higher risk of severe muscle problems from taking this drug. Talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category X pregnancy drug. 

Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy. Women of childbearing age should use reliable birth control while taking this drug.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug can pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed. You should not breast-feed your child while taking this drug.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You will need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

for seniors
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects from this drug. Your doctor will monitor you closely for side effects while you are on this drug.

for children
For children

For most conditions, this medication should not be used in people younger than 18 years of age. It can be used in children ages 8–17 years to treat heterozygous high cholesterol. It can also be used in children ages 7–17 years to treat homozygous high cholesterol.

call doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • rash
  • hives
  • swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue
  • trouble breathing

If you have a reaction, call your doctor or your local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take rosuvastatin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), hypertriglyceridemia, and type III hyperlipoproteinemia

Brand: Crestor

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg

Generic: rosuvastatin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Typical dosage: 5–40 mg once daily.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Asian ancestry: Your body may process this drug differently. This may lead to increased levels of this drug in your blood. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg once daily. 

Kidney disease: Kidney disease can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg daily. Your doctor may later increase your dose to 10 mg daily.

Heterozygous high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)

Brand: Crestor

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg

Generic: rosuvastatin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Typical dosage: 5–40 mg once daily.

Child dosage (ages 10–17 years)

Typical dosage: 5–40 mg once daily.

Child dosage (ages 0–9 years)

This medication has not been studied in young children. It should not be used in people younger than 10 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Asian ancestry: Your body may process this drug differently. This may lead to increased levels of Crestor in your blood. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg once daily.

Kidney disease: Kidney disease can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg daily. Your doctor may later increase your dose to 10 mg daily.

Homozygous high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)

Brand: Crestor

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg

Generic: rosuvastatin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Typical starting dosage: 20 mg once daily.
Child dosage (ages 7–17 years)
  • Typical dosage: 20 mg once daily.
Child dosage (ages 0–6 years)

This medication has not been studied in young children. It should not be used in people younger than 7 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Asian ancestry: Your body may process this drug differently. This may lead to increased levels of Crestor in your blood. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg once daily. 

Kidney disease: Kidney disease can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg daily. Your doctor may later increase your dose to 10 mg daily.

Heart disease prevention

Brand: Crestor

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg

Generic: rosuvastatin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Typical dosage: 5–40 mg once daily.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Asian ancestry: Your body may process this drug differently. This may lead to increased levels of this drug in your blood. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg once daily. 

Kidney disease: Kidney disease can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects. Your doctor will likely give you a starting dose of 5 mg daily. Your doctor may later increase your dose to 10 mg daily.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

if you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your cholesterol may not be controlled. Over time, high cholesterol can lead to serious health problems such as a heart attack or stroke.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • severe pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • muscle pain and weakness

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects. Do not take more than 1 dose of this drug within 12 hours.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels should go down, and your HDL (good) cholesterol levels should go up. You won’t be able to tell that the drug is working. Your doctor will perform blood tests to check your cholesterol levels.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

You can take this drug with or without food

Taking it with food may help to reduce upset stomach.

Store this drug carefully

  • Keep this drug at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will monitor your health during treatment with this drug. You will have blood tests to check your:

  • Cholesterol levels: This test will help make sure that this drug is working to improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Liver enzymes: Your doctor may check your liver enzymes before and during your treatment with this drug. Your doctor will check them carefully if they think you have liver problems. Let your doctor know if you have symptoms such as unusual muscle pain, tiredness, weakness, or loss of appetite. Also mention if you have pain in the right side of your abdomen (stomach area), dark-colored urine, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Your diet

Before you start taking this drug, your doctor may start you on a special diet to lower your cholesterol.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does rosuvastatin Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for rosuvastatin

Kroger Pharmacy $19.00
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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for rosuvastatin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 20, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline 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 other 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.
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