Approximately 94 million adults over the age of 20 in the United States suffer from high cholesterol. Past remedies for such a problem meant cutting out fat from one's diet and hoping that these numbers would go down.
The advent of modern medicine has produced medical miracles in the form of medication. Medications like Crestor and Lipitor have proven to lower cholesterol numbers effectively and, in short, saved people's lives.
But what's the difference between Crestor vs. Lipitor? If they can both lower cholesterol, then is there a difference?
Keep reading to learn about these cholesterol medication types and how they differ.
Crestor vs. Lipitor Similarities
Lipitor and Crestor qualify as statins, a class of medication approved in the late 1980s by FDA to treat high cholesterol. There are multiple statins on the market today, including Zocor, Lescol, Pravachol, and Livalo.
Medications in the statin class limit a liver enzyme's ability to make cholesterol. As a result, the bloodstream has lower cholesterol when people take a statin.
Lipitor and Crestor have the added effect of lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol, and raising HDL, the good cholesterol. They also raise triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are types of fat molecules found in the bloodstream.
High cholesterol and triglycerides play a critical role in heart disease. Individuals with high cholesterol and elevated triglycerides are more likely to develop heart disease as the cholesterol and fats build up in their blood vessels.
An excessive build-up of fat in the blood vessels will lead to chest pain, strokes, and heart attacks.
Thus avoiding a heart attack can be as simple as ordering prescription medicine and taking your pills faithfully.
Lipitor vs. Crestor Differences
If Crestor and Lipitor both belong to the statin family, what's the difference between the two cheap cholesterol medications? Which cholesterol medication is best between Lipitor vs. Crestor?
Effectiveness and Dosage
Most pharmacists consider Crestor the strongest statin. It lowers total cholesterol as well as LDL and triglycerides. It also increases HDL.
The biggest difference between Crestor and Lipitor lies in the dosage. Small doses of Crestor have proven to effectively reduce cholesterol. Doses range anywhere from 5mg up to 40mg.
Lipitor, like Crestor, effectively reduces total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol as well as increases HDL. Patients take Lipitor in doses ranging from 10 mg to 80mg.
Thus both Lipitor and Crestor do the job of reducing cholesterol. However, one must take a higher dosage of Lipitor to achieve the same effect as Crestor.
All medications come with potential side effects. Crestor and Lipitor are no exception to this rule.
Those who take Crestor may experience dizziness, headaches, nausea, and constipation. Some individuals report confusion as well as memory problems and elevated blood.
In contrast to Crestor's side effects, Lipitor's side effects include diarrhea, common cold symptoms, and joint pain. A small number of people also experience muscle aches and pains.
A small percentage of individuals who take Lipitor or Crestor have experienced abnormal liver enzyme levels. Individuals who plan on taking Lipitor or Crestor should have their doctor run blood tests to check liver enzyme levels first.
A small number of people have also reported a hemorrhagic stroke or brain bleed. These individuals often are currently taking a blood thinner or have had a recent stroke.
Side effects are rare, though. If they were common, the FDA would not have approved either medication. It's important to remember that the most common side effects are minor. Individuals who choose to take cholesterol meds learn to manage the side effects, knowing these pale in comparison to the long-term effects of high cholesterol.
Crestor costs more than Lipitor on average, with a 30-day supply running around $243 for those who do not have insurance. The generic version of Crestor will cost around $51 a month.
In contrast, Lipitor's 30-day supply typically costs around $207 without insurance. The generic version is approximately $17 to $19 a month.
Read the fine print carefully on all medications you take. Lipitor comes with some cautions.
Individuals taking Lipitor should avoid drinking grapefruit juice in great quantities. Studies have shown that grapefruit juice can increase the amount of statin in one's system.
Furthermore, both breastfeeding women and pregnant women should not take Lipitor or Crestor.
Cholesterol Buster: Which is Better?
In the end, you need to weigh your options carefully. Both medications reduce cholesterol levels effectively, according to studies. Lipitor will cost less, though you'll have to swallow a higher dosage for the same effect.
But both medications can effectively decrease the amount of buildup in blood vessels. And individuals seem to tolerate the minor side effects to gain the major effect of a better functioning heart. Your healthcare provider will give you the best advice on which medication works best for you as they can take your previous condition and health history in mind.
Thus the debate ends in your medical clinic exam room. They can best recommend which cholesterol medicine works for you.
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