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What Is Plaque Buildup?

The facts about plaque buildup in arteries

Plaque buildup is made up of fatty deposits and other cells that can build up in the walls of your arteries over time. As plaque continues to build, it can actually narrow or begin to clog arteries. This slow plaque buildup in arteries over time is a progressive disease called atherosclerosis, which often starts in early adulthood. During atherosclerosis, the wall of the artery actually becomes thicker. One major cause is a high level of bad (LDL) cholesterol.

What many people may not realize is that other risk factors in addition to high cholesterol, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of early heart disease, age, obesity, or smoking can also contribute to plaque buildup.

So, if you have high cholesterol plus any of these other risk factors, you could be at increased risk for plaque buildup in your arteries, which is why getting your bad (LDL) cholesterol to goal is important.

Plaque Buildup in Arteries

Important questions to ask your doctor

  • What is atherosclerosis?
  • How can you tell if I have plaque buildup?
  • What tests will I need to determine if I have atherosclerosis?
  • Can you tell me more about bruits, the ankle/brachial index, and how they are used to indicate plaque buildup?
  • What steps can I take to help manage my cholesterol and slow plaque buildup in my arteries?

Important Safety Information About CRESTOR Tablets


  • CRESTOR is not right for everyone. Do not take CRESTOR if you are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant; have liver problems; or have had an allergic reaction to CRESTOR
  • Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before starting treatment and if you have symptoms of liver problems while taking CRESTOR
  • Call your doctor right away if you:
    • Have unexplained muscle pain or weakness, especially with fever
    • Have muscle problems that do not go away even after your doctor told you to stop taking CRESTOR
    • Feel unusually tired
    • Have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine, or yellowing of skin or eyes
  • These could be signs of rare but serious side effects
  • Elevated blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including CRESTOR
  • Side effects: The most common side effects may include headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain, weakness, and nausea. Memory loss and confusion have also been reported with statins, including CRESTOR
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about other medicines you are taking

Talk to your doctor about prescription CRESTOR.

Approved Uses for CRESTOR

When diet and exercise alone aren't enough to lower cholesterol, adding CRESTOR can help.

In adults, CRESTOR is prescribed along with diet to lower high cholesterol and to slow plaque buildup in arteries as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal.

Prescribing Information with Patient Information  (PDF - 152k) 


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

FlagThis site is intended for US consumers only.

The information on this Web site should not take the place of talking with your doctor or health care professional. If you have any questions about your condition, or if you would like more information about CRESTOR, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Only you and your health care professional can decide if CRESTOR is right for you.