Crestor vs. Lipitor
There are a few differences between the approved uses for Lipitor and Crestor. Although these differences are extremely important to the people and companies that market these drugs, the differences are probably unimportant for most practical purposes for most people. These differences are likely to disappear over time, as both medications are studied more and are approved for additional uses.
Crestor is approved to slow the progression of atherosclerosis, while Lipitor is not. Lipitor is approved to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and certain heart procedures (such as bypass surgery) in people with heart disease, while Crestor is not.
Another important difference is the potential for interactions with grapefruit juice. Crestor does not appear to interact with grapefruit juice (see Crestor and Grapefruit), while Lipitor does interact with grapefruit juice (see Lipitor and Grapefruit).
One study compared Crestor with various statins, including Lipitor. Crestor seemed to be a little more effective than Lipitor when directly compared (Lipitor 10 mg vs. Crestor 10 mg, Lipitor 20 mg vs. Crestor 20 mg, and Lipitor 40 mg vs. Crestor 40 mg). However, this study lasted only six weeks and was "open label" (both the patients and the healthcare providers knew which medications were given).
Currently, the SATURN study is underway to compare Crestor 40 mg to Lipitor 80 mg for decreasing or reducing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This study is set to end in 2011 and will likely provide a wealth of information about Crestor versus Lipitor.