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What Are the Most Common Rosuvastatin Side Effects?

Allison Boelcke
By Allison Boelcke
Updated May 17, 2024
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Rosuvastatin is a medication that is used primarily in the treatment of high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a wax-like substance that can accumulate in the blood as a result of a high-fat diet, excessive weight, heredity, or other underlying health conditions, and can clog the arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. Rosuvastatin is thought to be effective at lowering potentially dangerous levels of cholesterol in the blood by blocking the functioning of the enzymes responsible for producing cholesterol. Although excessive levels of cholesterol in the blood tend to be a higher concern, rosuvastatin side effects can cause serious complications in rare cases.

Some of the most common rosuvastatin side effects are not considered serious or life-threatening. Doctors will generally only recommend seeking medical attention in the event that these side effects continually worsen. These include restlessness, constipation, cough, dizziness, heartburn, and stiffness or pain in the joints. Nausea and vomiting may also occur when a person first begins taking the medication.

Serious rosuvastatin side effects may also occur; however, these effects tend to be much rarer than the less serious ones. Changes in urine, both in frequency or appearance, may occur after taking the medication and could be a sign of kidney damage. Another serious potential side effect of the medication is liver damage, which may be characterized by a yellow appearance to the eyes or skin, a condition known as jaundice. Taking rosuvastatin also increases a person’s risk of rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which the muscles begin to deteriorate and cause small fibers to make their way into the bloodstream. Rhabdomyolysis can prevent blood flow to the kidneys and possibly result in kidney failure; therefore, if a person on the medication begins to experience muscle weakness or pain, he or she is usually advised to seek immediate medical treatment.

For certain people, the potential rosuvastatin side effects may be considered more dangerous than the risks of high cholesterol. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, are recommended not to take rosuvastatin because the medication may harm a fetus; therefore, women who do take this medication are usually advised to carefully use a reliable form of birth control. Although it is not conclusively known if the medication would be able to be passed to a baby through breast milk, doctors will typically suggest women who are breastfeeding to wait to take the medication. People who have underlying issues affecting the liver or kidney are also typically not recommended to take the medication since it may cause more damage to the kidneys and liver.

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