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Rosuvastatin is a statin medication used to lower the blood total cholesterol level. It’s slightly less popular than other statins but it’s one of the strongest cholesterol-lowering statin medications available in the market.

Rosuvastatin helps lower the cholesterol level including the LDL cholesterol that increases the risk of heart attacks and other heart diseases. It prevents cardiovascular disease in those at high risk when used together with proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.

Rosuvastatin is a good option for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and who are obese. It was approved for medical use in the United States in 2003. It’s one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US.

What condition does Rosuvastatin treat?

Rosuvastatin is used for:

  • Lowering the total cholesterol levels including LDL or the “bad” cholesterol and other fats (triglycerides, apolipoprotein B) in both adults and children aged 10 years old and above.
  • Increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol in the blood
  • Decreased the cholesterol and other fatty substance in the blood in children age 8-17 years who have familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia.
  • Prevention of heart diseases like heart attack, angina pectoris, and stroke among those who are at high risk of heart diseases like smokers, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and those who are obese.
  • To decrease the chances of people with heart disease to undergo heart surgery

How does Rosuvastatin work?

  • As a statin (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) type of medication, This medicine can slow down the production of cholesterol by the liver. This prevents the build-up of fat on the walls of the arteries which blocks the flow of blood to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. Fat and bad cholesterol accumulation on the wall of the arteries increases the risk of heart disease by narrowing and clogging the arteries.
  • Rosuvastatin blocks the action of the enzyme in the liver responsible for the production of cholesterol. Blocking the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase decrease the production of bad cholesterol and increases the removal of it in the blood.
  • As a statin, this medication also prevents the excess bad cholesterol from being deposited in the major blood vessels of the heart, thus, also prevents heart diseases like angina pectoris and in severe cases heart attack.
  • It helps reduces stroke because it decreases cholesterol build-up in the blood vessels leading to the brain. Cholesterol build-up on the blood vessels that leads to the brain limits blood and oxygen supply to the brain.

What is the dosage of Rosuvastatin?

Your dose and the duration of your treatment may be different from other people depending on the cholesterol levels.

  • Atherosclerosis: The recommended dose for an adult is 5 to 40 mg a day.
  • Familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia: The dose for an adult is 5 to 40 mg a day. The dose for children 10 to 17 years old is 5 to 20 mg a day while children 8 to 9 years old should take 5 to 10 mg a day.
  • Familial homozygous hypercholesterolemia: The recommended dose for an adult and children 7 to 17 years of age is 20 mg once a day.

How to take Rosuvastatin?

  • Take this medicine exactly as directed by your physician. You may have to take it every day on a long-term basis unless directed by your doctor.
  • You can take Rosuvastatin at any time of the time but you have to take it at the same time each day.
  • You can take it with or without food.

What are the precautions in taking Rosuvastatin?

  • Use Rosuvastatin only if low-fat diet and lifestyle changes like increased exercise, not smoking has not reduced cholesterol enough.
  • Continue following a cholesterol-lowering diet program and lifestyle changes like exercise while taking this medicine.
  • Do not stop taking your medication because if you stop, your body will start to make cholesterol again and your cholesterol level will start to rise again.
  • Rosuvastatin can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery if you are affected in any way. Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol as this can increase dizziness and may increase the risk of liver problems.
  • Your doctor will have to monitor your liver function regularly throughout the treatment. If you develop any of the following unexplained symptoms, call your doctor:
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Unusually dark urine
  • Itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Loss of appetite
  • The maximum recommended dose is 40 mg a day. It should be used only by people with very high cholesterol levels and a high risk of heart diseases. Do not use a 40 mg dose in treating patients with:
    • Decreased kidney function
    • History of a hereditary muscle disorder
    • Underactive thyroid gland
    • Children and adolescents
  • Use this medicine with caution among people with:
    • Decreased kidney and liver functions
    • Who are 70 years of age
    • Who drinks a large amount of alcohol
  • Do not use in people with:
    • Active liver disease
    • Diseases of the muscles
    • Severely decreased kidney function
    • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Some side effects can be serious. If you will experience any of the following serious side effects, seek medical help right away:
    • Allergic reactions
    • Extreme tiredness
    • Liver problems

Costs of Generic Rosuvastatin vs. Crestor

Rosuvastatin is a cheaper generic medication compared with the brand name Crestor.  It is prescribed to help people lower their blood cholesterol levels to prevent heart-related diseases like atherosclerosis, angina pectoris, heart attack, and stroke. Rosuvastatin 20 mg cost $1.80 per unit price or $54 for 30 tabs. While the brand name Crestor 20 mg costs $8.65 per unit price or $259.56 for 30 tabs.

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