Is Crestor linked to aggression?

When people start taking Crestor, they likely watch for some of the reported Crestor side effects that affect them physically. Not many people think to watch for emotional side effects linked to medications. But a recently published study suggests statins may be linked to increased aggression in women.

The study was published in PLOS One (7/1/15) and involved analyzing whether statins were linked to increased aggression. In the introduction to their study, researchers noted that individual cases of “reproducible aggression/irritability-increase” have been reported with statins, with aggressive responding reportedly higher in women who were taking lipid-reducing medications.

Researchers found that men tended to exhibit decreased aggression while taking statins, while women exhibited increased aggression. Women who tended to be more placid were reportedly the ones to exhibit the most violence. The study’s authors, however, did note that there were three male outliers who were extreme and showed large increases in aggression, opposite to the decrease in aggression most males displayed.

The two drugs tested in the trial were simvastatin and pravastatin. Aggressiveness on those drugs was compared to a control group that was given a placebo. Aggressive actions were monitored on a weekly basis and included aggressive acts by a patient against themselves, others or objects.

Speaking with Healthline (7/1/15), researcher Dr Beatrice A. Golomb noted that simvastatin was linked to a drop in testosterone in men and therefore a drop in aggression. Furthermore, as patients aged they were more likely to experience side effects.

Patients who take statins and experience a change in mood should consider speaking with their doctor about possibly changing medication or discontinuing statin treatment for a while.

Statins such as Crestor are used to lower high cholesterol. Some statins have been linked to an increased risk of muscle injury and muscle toxicity. Some statins are also reportedly linked to an increased risk of diabetes and to peripheral neuropathy.

Drugs in the statin class include Zocor (simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Pravachol (pravastatin). Of these, Lipitor faces 2,451 lawsuits consolidated in multidistrict litigation number 2502 for pretrial proceedings before US District Judge Richard M. Gergel.

In July, AstraZeneca, maker of Crestor, settled allegations it underpaid rebates given under Medicaid drug programs. According to court documents (7/6/15), the US Department of Justice alleged AstraZeneca underreported its average manufacturer prices, thereby overcharging the government for payments to the Medicaid Program. AstraZeneca made no admissions of liability in the settlement.

By Heidi Turner

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