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Zetia vs Crestor

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Zetia Information

Crestor Information

Comparative Analysis

Zetia Prescription Information

Crestor Prescription Information

Zetia Side Effects

Crestor Side Effects

Safety Information

Cost Information

Market Information


For patients with high cholesterol or other types of lipid disorders, certain drugs that alter the concentrations of cholesterol in the body can help in managing elevated levels and reducing cardiovascular risk. Zetia and Crestor are two such drugs that are prescribed for hypercholesterolemia. They each impact different processes in the body but both have effects on lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Zetia is a selective inhibitor of intestinal cholesterol absorption, meaning it works by limiting the amount of dietary cholesterol that your body can absorb. On the other hand, Crestor is classified as a statin drug which primarily works by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, thus slowing down the production of cholesterol within your liver.

Zetia vs Crestor Side By Side

Brand NameZetiaCrestor
ContraindicationsShould not be taken if you have active liver disease or unexplained persistent elevations in serum transaminases.Should not be taken by individuals with active liver disease, unexplained persistent elevations in serum transaminases, pregnant women, or nursing mothers.
CostFor the brand-name version, around $260 for 30 tablets (10 mg). For the generic version, ezetimibe, prices range from about $12 to $60 monthly.For the brand-name version, approximately $230 for 30 tablets (20 mg). For the generic version, rosuvastatin calcium, costs usually fall between around $5 up to $15 a month depending on dosage.
Generic NameEzetimibeRosuvastatin
Most Serious Side EffectSevere stomach pain that spreads to your back accompanied by nausea and vomiting, indicating pancreatitis.Unusual muscle weakness or tenderness which might signal a rare but serious condition called rhabdomyolysis.
Severe Drug InteractionsNot specified in the article, but like all medications, it can interact with other drugs leading to serious conditions.Not specified in the article, but as a statin, it may have serious interactions with other drugs affecting liver function or increasing the risk of muscle damage.
Typical Dose10 mg/dayStarting dose of 10–20 mg/day, adjustable up to 40 mg per day.

What is Zetia?

Ezetimibe (the generic name for Zetia) was a significant development in the class of lipid-lowering compounds that inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol. Ezetimibe, first approved by the FDA in 2002, works uniquely by limiting the amount of dietary and biliary cholesterol absorption in the intestines, effectively reducing total body cholesterol levels. It is prescribed as a monotherapy or combined with statins to treat high blood cholesterol.

On the other hand, Rosuvastatin (the generic name for Crestor), which belongs to a group known as statins or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, functions differently. Approved by FDA later than Zetia in 2003, it reduces levels of 'bad' cholesterol while slightly increasing levels of 'good' cholesterol. It operates primarily within your liver where it inhibits an enzyme needed to produce low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Both drugs have different influence on fat metabolism but they're often used together due to their complementary effects; however there are differences concerning side effects and risks between them.

What conditions is Zetia approved to treat?

Zetia is approved for the treatment of various conditions relating to cholesterol management:

  • Primary Hyperlipidemia, also known as high levels of fats in blood
  • Homozygous Familial Sitosterolemia, a rare inherited condition that causes high plant sterol levels
  • Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (in combination with Simvastatin or Atorvastatin), an inherited disorder causing extremely high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

How does Zetia help with these illnesses?

Zetia helps to manage high cholesterol by decreasing the amount of cholesterol absorbed from consumed food in the body. It does this by blocking a critical molecule, Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1) protein, which is responsible for uptake of dietary cholesterol in the intestines. Cholesterol is a type of fat that circulates in your blood and plays an important role in building healthy cells; however, having high levels can increase risk for heart disease. By inhibiting NPC1L1, Zetia reduces the overall pool of cholesterol that could potentially enter circulation and thus lowers total blood cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, Crestor works differently: it blocks an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase that produces cholesterol inside liver cells. This process leads to lower amounts of circulating LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol), while also slightly increasing HDL-cholesterol ("good" one). Both medicines are used to limit negative effects associated with elevated lipid profiles but act via different mechanisms offering physicians flexibility when managing patients' conditions.

What is Crestor?

Crestor is a brand name for rosuvastatin, which is a statin medication. Statins work by blocking the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making cholesterol. This results in lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and decreased triglycerides. Rosuvastatin was first approved by the FDA in 2003.

Unlike Zetia, Crestor also has an effect on other lipids beyond LDL-C and can reduce inflammation in arterial walls due to its action on C-reactive protein, thus reducing atherosclerotic plaque buildup. Its broader impact on lipid profile means that it may be more beneficial than Zetia for patients with complex dyslipidemia or those who are at high risk of heart disease.

Common side effects include muscle pain, constipation, nausea and headache while serious side effects such as liver damage or muscle breakdown are rare but possible under certain circumstances.

What conditions is Crestor approved to treat?

Crestor is a statin medication that has been approved by the FDA for treating:

  • High cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood
  • Reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and arterial revascularization procedures in individuals without clinically evident coronary heart disease but with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

How does Crestor help with these illnesses?

Crestor, also known as Rosuvastatin, is a type of drug called a statin. It works by reducing the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol in the body, while simultaneously increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol. It accomplishes this by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase which plays a crucial role in the production of cholesterol within liver cells. By blocking this enzyme, Crestor reduces overall cholesterol synthesis and assists in rebalancing total blood lipid profiles toward healthier ratios. Unlike Zetia that primarily acts to reduce intestinal absorption of dietary cholesterol, Crestor focuses on endogenous cholesterol synthesis regulation making it more suitable for individuals with severe hypercholesterolemia or those at high risk for cardiovascular events. Sometimes both drugs are used together for maximal therapeutic benefit when one alone doesn't provide adequate control.

How effective are both Zetia and Crestor?

Ezetimibe (Zetia) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) are both medications approved by the FDA in the early 2000s for use in reducing high cholesterol, but they work through different mechanisms. Ezetimibe prevents absorption of dietary and biliary cholesterol from the small intestines which can lower LDL cholesterol levels. On the other hand, rosuvastatin is a statin that inhibits an enzyme necessary for producing cholesterol within our own bodies.

The efficacy of ezetimibe and rosuvastatin were directly compared in several clinical trials; these studies found that both drugs effectively reduced LDL-C levels, although Crestor was generally more potent. However, Zetia was found to be particularly effective when used as an add-on therapy with a statin like Crestor.

A comprehensive review conducted in 2015 indicated that Zetia could significantly reduce LDL-C from baseline after just 1-2 weeks of treatment. This makes it attractive for patients who need immediate reductions on their LDL-C levels due to urgent cardiovascular risk. Despite its slightly weaker potency compared to most statins, it has fewer reported side effects such as muscle pain or liver damage often associated with long-term statin use.

On the other hand, Crestor not only reduces bad cholesterol but also mildly increases good HDL-Cholesterol while lowering triglycerides making it ideal for overall lipid profile improvement. It also appears to have beneficial effects beyond its impact on lipid profiles including reducing inflammation and potentially slowing plaque growth inside arteries based on imaging studies.

While both medications have proven safety profiles over decades of usage each comes with specific considerations: Ezetimibe has been shown less likely to cause muscle-related issues common with Statins whilst Rosuvastatin might not be suitable to those at risk or history of liver disease given potential hepatotoxicity effect.

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At what dose is Zetia typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Zetia typically range from 10 mg/day, and studies have suggested that this dosage is efficient for reducing cholesterol levels in most adults. Crestor on the other hand, has a broader range of dosages starting at 5 mg up to 40 mg per day depending on the patient's condition and response to therapy. Children aged 10 years or older can be initiated on Crestor at doses of 5-20mg/day based upon doctor recommendation. For either drug, if there is no adequate response after several weeks, the dosage may need adjustment under medical supervision. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 40 mg for Crestor or 10mg for Zetia unless prescribed by a healthcare professional.

At what dose is Crestor typically prescribed?

Crestor therapy generally commences with a dose of 10–20 mg/day, depending on the patient's current LDL levels and cardiovascular risk factors. The dosage could be adjusted up to 40 mg per day, taken in one single dose for adults who have not reached their cholesterol goal after several weeks. It is important that doses are taken at the same time each day to maintain consistent efficacy. For children aged 8-17 years old, treatment starts at a lower dosage -- typically around 5 mg/day -- with adjustments made based on response and tolerance. As always, changes in medication dosages should be guided by a healthcare professional.

What are the most common side effects for Zetia?

Potential side effects of Zetia and Crestor can include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches or pain
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, indigestion, nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue (general weakness)
  • Joint pain
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Depression
    With Crestor particularly:
    • Memory loss or forgetfulness, confusion
    • Sleep problems (insomnia)

Always consult your doctor if you experience any adverse reactions to medications.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Zetia?

While Zetia and Crestor are both used to control high cholesterol levels, they may cause different side effects. For Zetia, look out for:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Severe pain in the upper stomach spreading to your back
  • Loss of appetite with dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes)
  • Chest pain
  • Pancreatitis symptoms: severe stomach pain that spreads to your back accompanied by nausea and vomiting

For Crestor on the other hand,

  • Unusual muscle weakness or tenderness could signal a rare but serious condition called rhabdomyolysis.
  • Other signs include unexplained muscle pain or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness and dark colored urine which might indicate kidney problems.
  • Allergic reactions: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of face/lips/tongue/throat.

If you notice any adverse reactions while taking either medication, stop its use immediately and consult with your healthcare provider. Both medications can interact with other drugs leading to serious conditions so always inform your doctor about all medicines you're currently taking including over-the-counter drugs.

What are the most common side effects for Crestor?

Crestor, a commonly prescribed statin medication, can potentially cause some side effects:

  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea or abdominal discomfort
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Sleep problems including insomnia
  • Infrequent but severe: rhabdomyolysis (damage to muscles)

Remember that while these potential side effects may sound concerning, they are relatively rare and most people tolerate Crestor well. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication regimen.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Crestor?

While Crestor is generally well-tolerated, it can have some potential side effects. These could include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction or severe skin reaction such as hives, itching, fever, swollen glands, difficulty breathing or swelling in your face or throat
  • Unusual muscle weakness or tenderness which might signal a rare but serious condition called rhabdomyolysis
  • Abnormal liver function tests indicating possible liver damage
  • Severe nausea, upper stomach pain leading to loss of appetite and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Unexplained fatigue and dark-colored urine.

If you notice any of these symptoms while taking Crestor, stop using the drug immediately and consult with your doctor for further action.

Contraindications for Zetia and Crestor?

Both Zetia and Crestor, like most other cholesterol-lowering medications, may have side effects that include muscle pain or weakness. If you experience such symptoms, particularly if they are accompanied by fever or feeling of tiredness, seek immediate medical attention as they can be signs of a rare but severe condition called rhabdomyolysis.

Neither Zetia nor Crestor should be taken if you have active liver disease or unexplained persistent elevations in serum transaminases. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about any existing health conditions and all the medicines you are taking; these could interact with Zetia and Crestor leading to adverse effects.

Pregnant women or those planning pregnancy should not take Crestor because it has potential harm for the developing fetus. Nursing mothers also need to avoid it since there's uncertainty if Crestor passes into breast milk.

Always remember that lifestyle changes including diet control, regular exercise, weight management and quitting smoking form an essential part in managing high cholesterol levels along with these medications.

How much do Zetia and Crestor cost?

For the brand-name versions of these drugs:

  • The price for 30 tablets of Zetia (10 mg) averages around $260, which works out to about $8.60 per day.
  • The cost for a month's supply (30 tablets) of Crestor (20 mg) is approximately $230, equating to roughly $7.70 per day.

So, if you're taking similar dosages of both drugs, then the brand name Crestor might be slightly less expensive on a daily basis than Zetia. However, it's important to note that cost shouldn't be the main factor in determining which drug best suits your needs.

As for their generic forms:

  • Ezetimibe (the generic form of Zetia) costs significantly less with prices ranging from about $0.40 to $2 per pill or between approximately $12 and $60 monthly.
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium, which is the active ingredient in Crestor comes at an even lower cost usually falling between around $.15 and $.50 per tablet or from just under five dollars up to fifteen dollars a month depending on dosage required by physician instructions.

Popularity of Zetia and Crestor

Ezetimibe, in generic form as well as under the brand name Zetia, is a medication used to lower cholesterol levels. It was estimated that about 3.4 million people in the US were prescribed this drug in 2020. Ezetimibe accounted for just over 8% of prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering medications, also known as statins, indicating its role within this therapeutic category.

Conversely, Rosuvastatin Calcium (known by its brand name Crestor), was prescribed to approximately 21 million people in the US during the same period. In America, rosuvastatin accounts for almost half of all statin prescriptions and has consistently been one of the most-prescribed drugs overall nationwide due to its potency and safety profile. Over recent years there has been an increase in rosuvastatin prescription mainly attributable to more awareness regarding heart disease prevention.


Both Zetia (ezetimibe) and Crestor (rosuvastatin) have proven efficacy in the management of elevated cholesterol levels, supported by countless clinical studies and meta-analyses demonstrating that both are more potent than placebo treatments. In some instances, these drugs may be used together to maximize their lipid-lowering effects; however, this combination should only be administered under careful supervision by a physician due to potential interactions.

Zetia works primarily by inhibiting absorption of dietary cholesterol in the intestines, while Crestor is part of the statin class of medications, functioning chiefly through reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver. Consequently, they might be prescribed under different circumstances: Crestor is normally considered a first-line therapy for high cholesterol due to its powerful LDL-cholesterol lowering effect and evidence supporting its reduction on cardiovascular events. On the other hand, Zetia is usually added as an adjuvant therapy to a statin like Crestor when patients do not achieve desired results with statins alone or cannot tolerate them.

Both Zetia and Crestor are available as generics which can bring substantial cost savings especially for patients who must pay out-of-pocket. The initiation phase might require dosage adjustments hence immediate effects may not always be evident.

The side-effect profiles between these two drugs vary substantially with muscle symptoms being more common with rosuvastatin whereas ezetimibe tends towards gastrointestinal complaints like diarrhea or flatulence but it's generally well-tolerated. For both drugs though, patients need close monitoring especially during initial treatment phases and any unusual symptoms should prompt immediate medical consultation.