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Crestor for Weight Loss Warning

Being overweight can increase the cholesterol levels in your body, and conversely, weight loss can help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle. Physical exercise and a healthy diet may be effective for some people in their quest for weight loss and lower cholesterol levels, but others may turn to Crestor for extra help.

Crestor is a drug intended to lower the overall cholesterol level in the bloodstream. When combined with a regular exercise routine and healthy eating habits, Crestor has proven effective in reducing the risk of cholesterol related medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke. It works to reduce the amount of fatty LDL's (bad cholesterol) and increase the healthier HDL's (good cholesterol).

Crestor falls into a category of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. Although statins have saved many lives through its use, they all possess the potential for a dangerous side effect. Statins can injure muscle tissue throughout the body and can cause a rare muscle-destroying disease called rhabdomyolysis. The disorder disables the body by dissolving muscle tissue and releasing harmful toxins as a byproduct, which are sent to the kidney and can be potentially fatal. Health Canada has recently issued a warning to its residents regarding the high risk of rhabdomyolysis in Crestor users.

Despite the health benefits related to Crestor, the controversy and concern surrounding the drug and its potentially serious side effects has stolen the spotlight. Even before Crestor was available for use, a U.S. consumer watchdog group called Public Citizen stood in staunch opposition to its distribution. Based on the results of several clinical trials of Crestor, Public Citizen had FDA approval of the drug delayed by more than a year, but eventually it was released into the U.S. market with the official backing of regulators.

Within a year of Crestor's approval and distribution, the concerns of Public Citizen appeared to be confirmed after the death of a 39 year old woman who had been using the drug. Her death was apparently caused by kidney damage due to rhabdomyolysis, the muscle destroying disease associated with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. This case, along with numerous others of kidney failure among Crestor users across the U.S., U.K., and Canada, prompted Public Citizen to petition for the recall of the drug in the United States. Baycor, a similar cholester-fighting drug, was pulled from shelves in 2001 after a link was shown between its use and over 100 rhabdomyolysis cases. Public Citizen maintains that Crestor is even more dangerous than other statins, due to its displayed side effects in the absence of rhabdomyolysis, indicating a more severe risk. They recently made their case in the highly-regarded medical journal The Lancet, as a letter from director Dr. Sidney Wolfe demanded that Crestor be pulled from shelves immediately.

Crestor manufacturer Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals still maintains the safety of their product, even amid strengthened labeling requirements in the United States and Europe. The FDA recently issued a new advisory to physicians who prescribe Crestor, stressing the importance of monitoring the dosages in their patients and informing them of the serious potential side effects.

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