Renal Effects: Proteinuria, detected by dipstick testing and mostly tubular in origin, has been observed in patients treated with higher doses of rosuvastatin, in particular 40 mg, where it was transient or intermittent in most cases. Proteinuria has not been shown to be predictive of acute or progressive renal disease (see Adverse Reactions). The reporting rate for serious renal events in post-marketing use is higher at the 40 mg dose. An assessment of renal function should be considered during routine follow-up of patients treated with a dose of 40 mg.
Skeletal Muscle Effects: Effects on skeletal muscle e.g. myalgia, myopathy and, rarely, rhabdomyolysis have been reported in rosuvastatin-treated patients with all doses and in particular with doses >20 mg. Very rare cases of rhabdomyolysis have been reported with the use of ezetimibe in combination with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. A pharmacodynamic interaction cannot be excluded (see Interactions) and caution should be exercised with their combined use.
As with other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, the reporting rate for rhabdomyolysis associated with rosuvastatin in post-marketing use is higher at the 40 mg dose.
Creatine Kinase Measurement: Creatine Kinase (CK) should not be measured following strenuous exercise or in the presence of a plausible alternative cause of CK increase which may be confound interpretation of the result. If CK levels are significantly elevated at baseline (>5xULN) a confirmatory test should be carried out within 5-7 days. If the repeat test confirms a baseline CK >5xULN, treatment should not be started.
Before Treatment: Rosuvastatin, as with other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, should be prescribed with caution in patients with pre-disposing factors for myopathy/rhabdomyolysis. Such factors include: renal impairment; hypothyroidism; personal or family history of hereditary muscular disorders; previous history of muscular toxicity with another HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or fibrate; alcohol abuse; age >70 years; situations where an increase in plasma levels may occur (see Pharmacology: Pharmacokinetics under Actions); concomitant use of fibrates.
In such patients the risk of treatment should be considered in relation to possible benefit and clinical monitoring is recommended. If CK levels are significantly elevated at baseline (>5xULN) treatment should not be started.
Whilst on Treatment: Patients should be asked to report inexplicable muscle pain, weakness or cramps immediately, particularly if associated with malaise or fever. CK levels should be measured in these patients. Therapy should be discontinued if CK levels are markedly elevated (>5xULN) or if muscular symptoms are severe and cause daily discomfort (even if CK levels are ≤ 5x ULN). If symptoms resolve and CK levels return to normal, then consideration should be given to re-introducing rosuvastatin or an alternative HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor at the lowest dose with close monitoring. Routine monitoring of CK levels in asymptomatic patients is not warranted.
In clinical trials there was no evidence of increased skeletal muscle effects in the small number of patients dosed with rosuvastatin and concomitant therapy. However, an increase in the incidence of myositis and myopathy has been seen in patients receiving other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors together with fibric acid derivatives including gemfibrozil, ciclosporin, nicotinic acid, azole antifungals, protease inhibitors and macrolide antibiotics. Gemfibrozil increases the risk of myopathy when given concomitantly with some HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Therefore, the combination of rosuvastatin and gemfibrozil is not recommended. The benefit of further alterations in lipid levels by the combined use of rosuvastatin with fibrates or niacin should be carefully weighed against the potential risks of such combinations. The 40 mg dose is contraindicated with concomitant use of a fibrate).
Rosuvastatin should not be used in any patient with an acute, serious condition suggestive of myopathy or predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis (e.g. sepsis, hypotension, major surgery, trauma, severe metabolic, endocrine and electrolyte disorders; or uncontrolled seizures).
Liver Effects: As with other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, rosuvastatin should be used with caution in patients who consume excessive quantities of alcohol and/or have a history of liver disease. It is recommended that liver function tests be carried out prior to, and 3 months following, the initiation of treatment. Rosuvastatin should be discontinued or the dose reduced if the level of serum transaminases is greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal. The reporting rate for serious hepatic events (consisting mainly of increased hepatic transaminases) in post-marketing use is higher at the 40 mg dose.
In patients with secondary hypercholesterolaemia caused by hypothyroidism or nephrotic syndrome, the underlying disease should be treated prior to initiating therapy with rosuvastatin.
Race: Pharmacokinetic studies show an increase in exposure in Asian subjects compared with Caucasians (see Pharmacology: Pharmacokinetics under Actions and Dosage & Administration).
Protease Inhibitors: The concomitant use with protease inhibitors is not recommended (see Interactions).
Special warnings regarding excipients: Rosuvastatin contains lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicinal product.
Interstitial lung disease: Exceptional cases of interstitial lung disease have been reported with some statins, especially with long term therapy (see Adverse Reactions). Presenting features can include dyspnea, non-productive cough and deterioration in general health (fatigue, weight loss and fever). If it is suspected a patient has developed interstitial lung disease, statin therapy should be discontinued.
Diabetes Mellitus: In patients with fasting glucose 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L, treatment with rosuvastatin has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes mellitus (see Adverse Reactions).
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: Studies to determine the effect of rosuvastatin on the ability to drive and use machines have not been conducted. However, based on its pharmacodynamic properties, rosuvastatin is unlikely to affect this ability. When driving vehicles or operating machines, it should be taken into account that dizziness may occur during treatment.
Use in Children: The evaluation of linear growth (height), weight, BMI (body mass index), and secondary characteristics of sexual maturation by Tanner staging in paediatric patients 10 to 17 years of age taking rosuvastatin is limited to a one-year period. After 52 weeks of study treatment, no effect on growth, weight, BMI or sexual maturation was detected (see Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics under Actions). The clinical trial experience in children and adolescent patients is limited and the long-term effects of rosuvastatin (>1 year) on puberty are unknown.
In a clinical trial of children and adolescents receiving rosuvastatin for 52 weeks, CK elevations >10xULN and muscle symptoms following exercise or increased physical activity were observed more frequently compared to observations in clinical trials in adults (see Adverse Reactions).