Lovastatin vs Crestor

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For patients with high cholesterol levels, it is crucial to manage these levels to prevent heart diseases. Lovastatin and Crestor are two such drugs that are prescribed for this purpose. These medications belong to a class of drugs known as statins, which work by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver responsible for producing cholesterol. Lovastatin is a type of statin that reduces the production of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol. Crestor, on the other hand, is classified as a more potent statin and can significantly reduce LDL levels while modestly increasing HDL levels in patients with hyperlipidemia or mixed dyslipidemia.

What is Lovastatin?

Lovastatin (the generic name for Mevacor) was the first drug of the Statin class used to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Lovastatin was approved by the FDA in 1987, marking a significant advancement over previous cholesterol-lowering drugs. It works by inhibiting an enzyme responsible for producing cholesterol in the liver, thus reducing overall levels. Lovastatin is typically prescribed as initial treatment for high cholesterol.

On the other hand, Rosuvastatin (commonly known as Crestor), while also being part of the statin family, is a newer generation medication that has shown to be more potent at lowering LDL cholesterol than its predecessors like Lovastatin. Crestor lowers LDL considerably more per milligram than most statins and increases HDL ('good' cholesterol). This makes it particularly beneficial for patients who need drastic reductions in their LDL levels or those who have not responded sufficiently to other similar medications.

What conditions is Lovastatin approved to treat?

Lovastatin is approved for the management of several lipid-related conditions:

  • Primary hypercholesterolemia (Fredrickson Type IIa and IIb)
  • Mixed dyslipidemia
  • Prevention of coronary heart disease in patients with multiple risk factors for heart disease

How does Lovastatin help with these illnesses?

Lovastatin aids in the management of high cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a key role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. By blocking this enzyme, less cholesterol is produced, helping to maintain lower levels over extended periods. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can build up and clog arteries if it becomes too abundant, leading to heart disease or stroke. It's believed that individuals with high cholesterol have relatively higher risk for cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, by reducing the production of cholesterol through Lovastatin use, patients can limit their chances of developing such conditions and better manage their health.

Comparatively Crestor also works by blocking HMG-CoA reductase but it has been shown to be more potent than lovastatin at lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol thus providing additional cardioprotective benefits.

What is Crestor?

Crestor, the brand name for rosuvastatin, is a statin used to control elevated cholesterol levels. It functions by blocking an enzyme in the liver that produces cholesterol. By limiting this production process, Crestor helps reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol and increase HDL ("good") cholesterol in the blood.

Approved by the FDA in 2003, Crestor isn't just another statin medication; it's known for its potency and efficacy at lower doses compared to other drugs of its class such as lovastatin. This means fewer potential side effects like muscle pain or damage which are common amongst users of statins. Nonetheless, some people may still experience symptoms including headache and nausea.

The strength of Crestor can be particularly beneficial for patients who have not shown significant improvements using milder medications or those with more severe conditions requiring aggressive management.

What conditions is Crestor approved to treat?

Crestor, also known as rosuvastatin, is approved by the FDA in the United States for several uses:

  • Reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol
  • Slowing the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries)
  • Treating patients with inherited disorders that cause high levels of LDL cholesterol
  • Decreasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or arterial revascularization procedures in individuals without clinically evident coronary heart disease but with an increased risk based on age, high CRP levels and other cardiac risk factors.

How does Crestor help with these illnesses?

Crestor belongs to a class of cholesterol-lowering medications called statins, and functions by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This action decreases the production of cholesterol in the liver, thereby lowering overall levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol in the body. It also increases HDL ("good") cholesterol and can help reduce triglyceride levels. Crestor has been shown to be more potent than lovastatin at reducing LDL-cholesterol levels, which can be beneficial for patients who have not reached their intended target using other statins or are at high risk for heart disease. Like all statins, however, it may cause side effects such as muscle pain or weakness; hence its use should be monitored carefully by your healthcare provider.

How effective are both Lovastatin and Crestor?

Both lovastatin and rosuvastatin (Crestor) are effective in managing high cholesterol levels, with their use initially being approved by the FDA about a decade apart. They belong to the statin class of drugs which help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. The effectiveness of both these medications was directly studied in numerous clinical trials showing similar efficacy in reducing LDL-cholesterol concentrations.

A 2009 review reported that lovastatin is well-tolerated even among elderly populations and patients with chronic kidney disease, making it one of the most widely prescribed statins worldwide. It has been found effective from the first week of treatment at doses ranging from 10 mg/day to 80 mg/day depending on individual patient needs. In addition to lowering bad cholesterol, it also contributes to a modest increase in HDL or good cholesterol.

Rosuvastatin, on the other hand, is considered more potent than other statins including lovastatin according to a meta-analysis conducted in 2013; hence it's often prescribed when aggressive lipid-lowering therapy is needed. Rosuvastatin not only decreases total plasma cholesterol but also significantly reduces inflammation markers associated with heart disease risk like C-reactive protein levels. However, despite its potency rosuvastatin does come with increased risks for certain side effects such as muscle pain compared to less potent statins like lovastatin.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Lovastatin typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Lovastatin range from 10–80 mg/day, but studies have shown that a dosage of 20 mg/day is often sufficient for managing high cholesterol levels in many patients. Children who are at least ten years old and adolescents may be started on a lower dosage of about 10mg/day. In either population, the dosage can be increased after several weeks if there is no significant response. The maximum daily dosage that should not be exceeded under any circumstances is 80mg/day.

At what dose is Crestor typically prescribed?

Crestor, also known as rosuvastatin, treatment typically begins at a dosage of 5-10 mg/day. Depending on the patient's response to the medication and their LDL cholesterol goals, this dose can be increased up to 20 mg/day after several weeks. The maximum recommended daily dose is 40 mg which should be taken once per day. It's crucial that patients adhere to these guidelines because exceeding the prescribed dosage could potentially lead to an increased risk of serious side effects such as muscle pain or weakness. As with all medications, it's important for patients undergoing Crestor treatment not only follow their healthcare provider’s instructions but also maintain regular check-ups in order monitor any changes in cholesterol levels or potential side effects.

What are the most common side effects for Lovastatin?

Common side effects of Crestor and Lovastatin may include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Muscle aches or pains
  • Abdominal pain (stomach discomfort)
  • Nausea, indigestion
  • Constipation, diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • Rashes and itching
  • Increased blood sugar levels Remember to seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms persist or worsen. More severe but less common side effects can include memory loss, confusion, liver problems, and rare muscle problems which may lead to kidney issues. The doctor will take all possible side effects into account when considering the right medication for your specific circumstances.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Lovastatin?

While Lovastatin and Crestor are both statins used to control cholesterol levels, they can have different side effects. For instance, in rare cases:

  • Allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face or throat
  • Liver problems signaled by upper stomach pain, fatigue and appetite loss; jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes)
  • Kidney issues indicated by little to no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles
  • Muscle breakdown leading to unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, weakness especially if accompanied with fever and dark colored urine
  • Signs of stroke which include sudden numbness on one side of the body severe headache slurred speech vision changes

These symptoms may indicate a serious issue that needs immediate medical attention. If you experience any such symptoms while taking either Lovastatin or Crestor consult with your doctor immediately. It's crucial not to ignore these signs as doing so might lead to serious health consequences.

What are the most common side effects for Crestor?

Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering medication, can bring along some side effects such as:

  • Headache or dizziness
  • Nausea, upset stomach or constipation
  • Muscle soreness or weakness (rhabdomyolysis)
  • Insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns
  • Mild skin rash
  • Increased urination, particularly at night time
  • Feelings of nervousness or restlessness -In rare instances, it may even cause liver problems reflected in symptoms like loss of appetite, stomach pain, and yellowing eyes/skin.

The majority of these side effects are quite uncommon and many patients on Crestor do not experience any adverse symptoms. However, if you notice any persisting discomforts after starting your course with Crestor it would be best to consult your healthcare provider straight away.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Crestor?

Crestor, like all medications, can cause some side effects. Although rare, it's important to be aware of the more serious ones which necessitate medical attention:

  • Allergic reactions: This may present as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Muscle problems: Unexplained muscle pain or weakness could be a sign that Crestor is affecting your muscles and potentially causing damage.
  • Liver problems: These may show up in symptoms like upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine coloration or yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice).
  • Kidney problems: Symptoms include little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in feet or ankles; feeling tired/shortness of breath.
  • Signs indicative of high blood sugar levels such as increased thirst/urination/dry mouth/hunger/fruity breath odor.

If you experience any such symptoms while taking Crestor, promptly seek out medical aid.

Contraindications for Lovastatin and Crestor?

Both Lovastatin and Crestor, along with most other cholesterol-lowering medications, may cause muscle pain in some people. If you notice worsening muscle weakness or unexplained muscle pain, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Lovastatin nor Crestor should be taken if you are taking certain other drugs like cyclosporine, gemfibrozil or antifungal medicine. Always tell your physician which medications you are taking; these medicines can result in a dangerous increase in the levels of statins within your system and lead to severe side effects like rhabdomyolysis - a condition that can cause kidney failure.

How much do Lovastatin and Crestor cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 tablets of Crestor (10 mg) averages around $200, which works out to approximately $6–7/day, depending on your dose.
  • The price for a supply of 90 tablets of Lovastatin (20 mg) is about $70, working out to roughly $0.77/day.

Thus, if you are in the higher dosage range for Crestor (i.e., 40 mg/day or higher), then brand-name Lovastatin is less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. Please note that cost should not be the primary consideration in determining which of these cholesterol-lowering medications is right for you.

As with many drugs, costs are significantly lower when considering generic versions:

  • Rosuvastatin calcium (the active ingredient in Crestor) can cost as low as around $0.50 - $1 per day depending upon daily dosage and quantity purchased.
  • Generic lovastatin prices can vary but typically average between $0.15 and $.25 per day based on typical dosages.

Always remember to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen.

Popularity of Lovastatin and Crestor

Lovastatin, available in generic form and under brand names such as Mevacor, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 2 million people in the US in 2020. Lovastatin accounted for just over 5% of all statin prescriptions in the country. Being one of the earlier statins approved by FDA, its use has seen a gradual decrease since newer alternatives have become available.

Rosuvastatin, including brand versions like Crestor, was prescribed to approximately 21 million people in the USA during that same year. In terms of overall statin prescriptions across America, rosuvastatin accounts for nearly half at around 48%. Rosuvastatin's popularity can be attributed to its potency and efficiency at lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels compared with other statins. Over recent years, there has been an increase in rosuvastatin prescriptions due largely to a wider understanding of its benefits within medical circles.


Both Lovastatin and Crestor (rosuvastatin) are statins, a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. They have well-established records of usage in patients with hypercholesterolemia or those at risk for heart disease, and are supported by numerous clinical studies indicating that they can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events more effectively than placebo treatments. While both work by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme involved in cholesterol production, their pharmacokinetic profiles differ.

Lovastatin is usually considered as a first-line treatment option due to its longer history of use and lower cost since it's available as a generic drug. Meanwhile, Crestor is often prescribed when high-intensity statin therapy is needed or when patients don't respond adequately to other statins like lovastatin because it has been shown to be particularly effective in reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels.

Both drugs may require an adjustment period where doctors monitor your body’s response through regular lipid panel tests before settling on long-term dosing.

The side effect profile between these two drugs varies somewhat; while both are generally well-tolerated and serious side effects are rare, muscle-related symptoms such as pain or weakness can occur with either medication but tend to be less common with lovastatin than rosuvastatin. Regardless of which medication you're taking, report any unusual symptoms promptly to your healthcare provider.