Rosuvastatin (Crestor® or Ezallor®) is a high cholesterol treatment. It helps lower your cholesterol, which reduces your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Combining this medicine with exercise and a healthy diet will give you the best results.


What is this medication?

ROSUVASTATIN (roe SOO va sta tin) treats high cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. It works by decreasing bad cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides), and increasing good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood. It belongs to a group of medications called statins. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.



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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • If you often drink alcohol
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Muscle cramps, pain
  • Stroke
  • Thyroid disease
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to rosuvastatin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Do not cut, crush or chew this medication. Swallow the tablets whole. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.

Take antacids that have a combination of aluminum and magnesium hydroxide in them at a different time of day than this medication. Take these products 2 hours AFTER this medication.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 7 for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If your next dose is to be taken in less than 12 hours, then do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Supplements like red yeast rice

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Antacids containing aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Other medications for high cholesterol
  • Some medications for HIV infection
  • Warfarin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care provider if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking this medication if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medication, contact your health care provider.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medication. Women should inform their health care provider if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is potential for serious harm to an unborn child. Talk to your health care provider for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medication.

This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your health care provider if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.

If you are going to need surgery or other procedure, tell your health care provider that you are using this medication.

Taking this medication is only part of a total heart healthy program. Your health care provider may give you a special diet to follow. Avoid alcohol. Avoid smoking. Ask your health care provider how much you should exercise.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)—increased thirst or amount of urine, unusual weakness, fatigue, blurry vision
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness, fatigue
  • Muscle injury—unusual weakness, fatigue, muscle pain, dark yellow or brown urine, decrease in amount of urine
  • Redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:

  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, take the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.

Additional Common Questions

When is the best time to take rosuvastatin?

You can take rosuvastatin at any time of the day. But healthcare providers often prefer that you take statins before bedtime. This is because statins interfere with the process of making cholesterol in your liver. This process happens at night. Take rosuvastatin at the same time each day.

How long should I take rosuvastatin?

You can expect to take rosuvastatin for the rest of your life. You have to keep taking it in order for it to keep working.

Does rosuvastatin cause weight gain?

People who took part in clinical studies for rosuvastatin didn’t report weight gain. But many did have sore muscles and/or a lack of energy that could limit their ability to exercise.

Is rosuvastatin a blood thinner?

No. It’s a statin that people take to lower their cholesterol. Doing this helps them lower their risk of having a stroke or heart attack. A blood thinner like an anticoagulant can lower these risks, too, but it works differently. It makes it harder for your body to make blood clots. Some blood clots can lead to a stroke or heart attack.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Increasing your exercise and changing your diet may not be enough to reach your cholesterol target. For many people, the help a statin provides makes a difference. With or without a statin, it’s a good idea to continue healthy habits.

Note: Intro and FAQ sections written and reviewed by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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