A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.
What is rosuvastatin?
The active ingredient rosuvastatin is a cholesterol synthesis inhibitor, also known as a ‘statin’. It works by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver. Rosuvastatin also decreases the production of cholesterol and fats in the blood.
What is rosuvastatin used for?
Rosuvastatin is used to lower high levels of cholesterol in the blood. There are different types of fats in the blood, such as cholesterol. There are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol. The bad sort is deposited in the arteries and increases the risk of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and thus heart or vascular disease (heart attack or stroke).
High cholesterol can be caused by lifestyle choices. But it can also be due to genetics (familial hypercholesterolaemia).
A healthy lifestyle (quitting smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet) can reduce or prevent cholesterol build-up. If this is not effective enough, or in case of familial hypercholesterolaemia, a treatment containing the active ingredient rosuvastatin can be prescribed. This medicine is also used to treat people who, due to other medical conditions, have an increased risk of heart and vascular disease, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Rosuvastatin decreases the production of bad cholesterol and causes the level of good cholesterol to increase. This helps improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart and vascular disease.
How to use rosuvastatin
Rosuvastatin is available in tablet form. The tablets should be swallowed with sufficient fluid, preferably at set times to avoid missing a dose. Rosuvastatin can be taken with or without food.
This medicine may take some time to take effect. Keep taking it daily even if your symptoms do not seem to be improving. After several weeks, a doctor will check your cholesterol levels.
If the treatment is effective, you will need to take rosuvastatin every day on a long-term basis even if your cholesterol levels are normal. This is because if you stop taking it, your body will start to make cholesterol again and your cholesterol levels will start to rise again.
Rosuvastatin comes in various strengths. The exact strength is determined by a doctor. The typical dose is:
- Adults: one 5-mg or 10-mg tablet once a day.
- Children aged 6 to 17 years: one 5-mg tablet once a day.
The doctor may gradually increase the dose according to your cholesterol levels. The maximum daily dose for adults is 40 mg. This medicine is not suitable for use in children under 6 years of age.
Like all medicines, rosuvastatin may cause side effects, although it is generally well tolerated. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach ache, nausea and constipation.
- Muscle ache.
- Feeling weak.
For a complete list of possible side effects, see the package leaflet. Side effects should be reported to a doctor or pharmacist. Contact a doctor immediately in case of severe or life-threatening side effects.
When not to use rosuvastatin
Rosuvastatin is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this medicine if:
- You are allergic to rosuvastatin or any other ingredient in this medicine.
- You have a serious kidney or liver disease.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You experience any unexplained muscle symptoms, such as pain or tenderness or muscle cramps.
- You are taking the medicine ciclosporin.
In some cases, rosuvastatin should be used with caution. For example, in people with health problems or people who are already taking medication. If this is the case, be sure to consult your doctor before using this medicine.
Do not use medicine containing rosuvastatin if you are pregnant, trying to conceive or breastfeeding.
This medicine may cause side effects that will impair your ability to drive. If you experience dizziness or weakness, you should avoid driving until these symptoms have passed.
Do not drink alcohol while taking rosuvastatin as this is likely to trigger or worsen the side effects.