(ok, closer to drano, but still…)
Crestor the statin drug, has (in a recently-published study by The Cleveland Clinic) shown a “reversal of coronary artery disease”.
There are some caveats, but these results are still a semi-watershed event in the history of cholesterol and atherosclerosis treatment.
The study, ASTEROID, followed 507 patients for two years, starting as early as November 2002.
Using very high doses (40mg/day) of rosuvastatin, the patients’ LDL was lowered more than 50% to about 61mg/dl. In addition, an average increase of ~15% was measured in the patients’ HDL. This is the lowest-recorded level of LDL resulting from a statin.
As a part of the test, 349 of the total participants underwent ultrasound testing before and after the program. The amount of blockage in each patient’s worst affected area decreased by an average of 9%. Blockages across the entire measured blood vessel decreased by ~7%.
Though these study results are outstanding, the actual occurrence of adverse incidents such as heart-attacks, was not measured.
This study was funded by the maker of Crestor.
Crestor has been criticized by several doctors and Health Watchdog groups such as Public Citizen for being too strong. The drug also has some of the highest-reported side effects of any statin.
The primary guideline of all pharmacology is to give the patient the smallest dose that produces the desired effects and no more.
There is also anecdotal evidence that Lipitor has had similar artherosclerosis-reversing effects in some patients.
Standard Dosages (10mg/day) of Crestor are also still viewed by many as a bit too strong
-for the average patient. Some studies have documented just 1mg of Crestor can lower LDL up to 35%; roughly equal to the effects from 20-40mg of Zocor.
Dosage information for many drugs has been criticized as over-simplified for physicians.
Note: Some Cholesterol is an important part of normal bodily functions and is not supposed to be completely irradicated. It is also possible to lower both Cholesterol and Triglycerides with diet. You may not need Crestor in-particular to do that, either.
Photo Credits: “Inside an Air Intake”, by Hugo Humberto Plácido da Silva
Links & References:
• Source Study: JAMA – Effect of Very High-Intensity Statin Therapy on Regression of Coronary Atherosclerosis The ASTEROID Trial
• More Coverage:
JAMA – Can a Potent Statin Actually Regress Coronary Atherosclerosis? [editorial]
Dr. Jay Cohen – The Truth About Crestor: Is Crestor Dangerous and If So, Why?
Heart.org – Cholesterol Info
Cleveland Clinic Heart Center Patient Resources