Consumer Group Again Urges Ban on Statin Drug, Crestor
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- June 4, 2004 -- The anti-cholesterol drug rosuvastatin or Crestor should be banned, the consumer group Public Citizen wrote in a recent letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Crestor can cause rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle cells break down, releasing myoglobin, and causing muscle destruction. Because myoglobin can be toxic to kidneys, the result may be severe kidney damage or failure.
Public Citizen had warned the public about the dangers of Crestor last fall. In March of this year, the group petitioned the FDA to recall the drug. The current Public Citizen letter presents new information about the latest Crestor-related injuries. Since the March petition, there have been 11 more cases of rhabdomyolysis in patients using Crestor plus three cases of renal failure. Many were patients who took a 10 milligram dose, rather than the higher 20 milligram dose that Crestor's manufacturer, AstraZeneca, blames for any kidney complications.
Properties of Statins
Crestor is one of six compounds called statins that are used to lower lipids and cholesterol. The FDA approved Crestor in August, 2003. Another statin, cerivastatin (Baycol), was removed from the market because of at least 31 reports of fatal rhabdomyolysis.
Instead of using Baycol or Crestor, Public Citizen recommends the use of either of three other statins -- lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin. These drugs provide better benefits in lowering cholesterol and pose less risk, according to the group. "Rosuvastatin is a doomed drug, " Public Citizen proclaimed. "It should never have been approved, given the clear evidence of renal toxicity and the seven cases of rhabdomyolysis even prior to its approval."
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