Approximately 42 million Americans are affected by high cholesterol, and another 63 million have borderline high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat, or lipid, produced by the liver and is a critical component of the body’s ability to function normally. Cholesterol is carried in the blood by molecules called lipoproteins: low density lipoproteins, or LDL, carry cholesterol from the liver to the cells and high density lipoproteins, or HDL, carry cholesterol away from cells and back to the liver. If too much bad cholesterol is carried to the cells, it can result in a harmful buildup of LDL, and elevated levels of bad cholesterol can cause an increased risk of arterial disease.
Consumers are constantly being exposed to new medications, most of which they believe to be safe based on testing requirements and FDA approval. Unfortunately, in some instances, inaccurate side effect information is provided to consumers, making it impossible for them to make educated decisions about their medications. Some drug manufacturing companies intentionally conceal the harmful side effects of their medications, and others participate in deceptive marketing practices, in an attempt to improve their drug’s reception by the public. For example, while consumers may know about the benefits of Crestor, a drug approved to lower cholesterol, few are aware of the dangerous side effects linked to the drug.
Crestor is being heavily marketed to consumers as the strongest statin medication of all. The dosage requirements for Crestor are well above and beyond the recommended dosages for drugs similar to Crestor, including Lipitor and Zocor, which research has shown may already be more than most consumers need. According to researchers, most individuals with elevated cholesterol or LDL-C have only mild or moderate elevations, for which modest statin doses are adequate. Unfortunately, the standard starting dose of Crestor is so high that it claims to reduce LDL-C a significant 46-52%, while most people with elevated cholesterol levels require only a 20-30% reduction. This exposes individuals to an extremely high and potentially harmful dosage of medication that they may not even require.
In 2005, the FDA issued a public health advisory to clarify the risks and benefits associated with Crestor, requiring AstraZeneca to update warning information to include new recommended doses for individuals at a higher risk of developing muscle damage, called rhabdomyolysis. The new Crestor advisory is part of an ongoing effort by the FDA to more adequately inform consumers of the dangers associated with medications so they can make accurate and informed decisions about their medications.
Despite the dangers associated with Crestor which have sparked the interest of consumer interest groups, the FDA has refused to recall the drug. In fact, in 2010, the FDA approved a wider use of Crestor, allowing the drug to be marketed to individuals with slightly elevated cholesterol levels, a group previously considered at low risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The FDA approval came on the heels of a study which examined individuals with normal or slightly elevated cholesterol levels but who had an elevated C-reactive protein level, a marker associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This study was finally sponsored and financially supported by AstraZeneca, after it was already rejected by the National Institutes of Health and at least two other companies.
The side effects associated with Crestor are life-threatening and potentially fatal. Victims of serious injury or death resulting from the use of Crestor are not at fault and should contact a Crestor attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a defective drug lawsuit against AstraZeneca. If you or a loved one has suffered from rhabdomyolysis, kidney failure, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, type II diabetes, liver damage, stroke, heart attack, or another serious health condition related to Crestor use, a Crestor lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve. Qualified Crestor attorneys are experienced in defective drug litigation and have the knowledge and practical skills to help you develop a successful Crestor case.