Rosuvastatin is used with diet changes (restriction of cholesterol and fat intake) to reduce the amount of cholesterol and certain fatty substances in your blood. Accumulation of cholesterol and fats along the walls of your arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and therefore the oxygen supply to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body. Lowering your blood level of cholesterol and fats may help to prevent heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks. Rosuvastatin is in a class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). It works by preventing the body from forming harmful cholesterol and increasing the amount of HDL ('good cholesterol') in your blood.
How should this medicine be used?
Rosuvastatin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take rosuvastatin at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take rosuvastatin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of rosuvastatin and gradually increase your dose.
Rosuvastatin controls high cholesterol but does not cure it. It may take 4 weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of rosuvastatin. Continue to take rosuvastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking rosuvastatin without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking rosuvastatin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to rosuvastatin or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); cimetidine (Tagamet); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); ketoconazole (Nizoral); and other medications for high cholesterol such as clofibrate (Atromid-S), fenofibrate (Tricor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and niacin (Niaspan, Niacor). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- if you are taking antacids, take them at least 2 hours after rosuvastatin.
- tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol, if you have a family history of high cholesterol, and if you have or have ever had diabetes; seizures; a severe infection; a heart attack; a stroke; low blood pressure; or liver, kidney, or thyroid disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking rosuvastatin, call your doctor immediately. Do not breastfeed while taking rosuvastatin.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking rosuvastatin.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking rosuvastatin. Alcohol can increase the risk that you will experience serious side effects.
- talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Regular exercise will increase the effect of rosuvastatin.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Eat a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet. This kind of diet includes cottage cheese, fat-free milk, fish (not canned in oil), vegetables, poultry, egg whites, and polyunsaturated oils and margarines (corn, safflower, canola, and soybean oils). Avoid foods with excess fat in them such as meat (especially liver and fatty meat), egg yolks, whole milk, cream, butter, shortening, lard, pastries, cakes, cookies, gravy, peanut butter, chocolate, olives, potato chips, coconut, cheese (other than cottage cheese), coconut oil, palm oil, and fried foods.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Rosuvastatin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- back pain
- joint pain or weakness
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
- joint pain
- fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
- flu-like symptoms
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- chest pain
- pain in upper right part of stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark urine
- numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
- painful or difficult urination
- sinus infection
Rosuvastatin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to rosuvastatin.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.