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Pharmacy and Medications

Is Crestor More Effective Than Lipitor in Lowering Chloesterol Level?

12/03/2008

Question:

I recently had an angiogram that showed plaque deposits in my coronary arteries. I have been taking cholesterol lowering drugs for almost 20 years. My cholesterol level is 4.4 and they want me to get it below 4. I am taking 40mg of Lipitor at present. Would Crestor be better? I exercise regularly and watch my diet. I am 55 years of age.

Answer:

Lipitor is the brand name for atorvastatin. Crestor is the brand of rosuvastatin. Both drugs are statins and belong to the group of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. The drugs block an enzyme that helps the body make cholesterol.

When equivalent LDL-C (low density lipoprotein cholesterol)  lowering doses are used, one statin is generally no better than another. In patients with other risk factors for coronary disease, one statin may be preferred over another. Many statins, including atorvastatin, halt the progression of atherosclerosis or clogging of the coronary arteries with fat and cholesterol. Rosuvastatin has demonstrated plaque reversal or the removal of existing plaque deposts according to one study.

Doctors use many factors in choosing a statin including total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, other risk factors for coronary artery disease, as well as concurrent medical conditions and medications. Crestor may cost more than Lipitor. The side effect profile may be different depending on the dose indicated for treatment.

Keep up your good work with diet and exercise. Talk to your doctor about your medication. Your doctor is your best resource for recommending statin therapy for you.

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Response by:

Carmen M Hadley, RPh, CSPI
Former Clinical Instructor
College of Pharmacy
The Ohio State University