EDISON, N.J., July 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Crestor and Zocor are widely-used prescription strength drugs designed to lower "bad cholesterol". Both drugs are classified as "statins", medicine which lowers blood cholesterol levels by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase. This group of drugs has had a controversial history, starting with Baycol, a drug similar to Crestor and Zocor, touted as a "super statin" before its recall from the market. Despite numerous objections from medical researchers and reputable consumer groups due to safety concerns, the drug was approved by the FDA in August of 2003, and launched a month later. Even before their FDA approval, these drugs showed signs of being linked to serious muscle and kidney problems, including the potentially fatal, muscle-destroying condition rhabdomyolysis.

Zocor and Crestor are strongly marketed by their parent companies, Merck and AstraZeneca respectively. By early 2004, 27% of all new prescriptions for statin drugs were for Crestor. The Wall Street Journal reported:

"AstraZeneca sales force (Crestor) was making more calls to doctors than any of its competitors. Beginning in late February, reflecting the sales calls, new prescriptions of Crestor began to rise and overtook Lipitor by the beginning of March 20."

This style of pharmaceutical marketing is so effective that in 2010, the statin Lipitor was the #1 selling drug in America by unit, with Crestor at #6.

Warning-sign side effects include:

  • muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • lack of energy
  • fever
  • chest pain
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
  • nausea
  • extreme tiredness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • loss of appetite
  • flu-like symptoms
  • sore throat, chills, or