Lipitor (Atorvastatin)
Lipitor
Atorvastatin
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Atorvastatin (Generic)
Atorvastatin
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Select product strength & quantity:

Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

What is Lipitor (Atorvastatin)?

Lipitor (Atorvastatin) is part of a group of medications called statins, prescribed to treat high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat found in blood that is necessary for many processes in the body, however too much cholesterol can cause problems. Diagnosed through a blood test, high cholesterol can be dangerous and is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol is produced in the liver and exists in two forms: low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the ‘bad’ cholesterol), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol). Used in conjunction with a balanced diet, Lipitor can lower the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol and increase the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood, ultimately improving the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Dosage

The active ingredient in Lipitor is atorvastatin. Lipitor is prescribed to patients with high cholesterol and functions to reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Dosage is prescribed as a daily dose in the range of 10mg to 80mg, and this is dependent on the condition severity, target lipid levels, and the patient’s response. Most patients begin on a daily dose of 10mg, and results are often seen within two weeks of beginning the medication. Tablets are to be swallowed whole with a glass of water, with or without food. Do not chew, crush, or dissolve the tablets. Take the tablets at the same time each day.

It is important that you follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider. If you are at all unsure about how to take this medication, contact your doctor prior to doing so. It is likely that you will need to follow a diet plan while taking Lipitor to achieve maximum results, and it is important that you follow this plan carefully.

Storage

Lipitor tablets should be stored in their packaging until they are taken. Keep your tablets in a cool, dry space where the temperature will not exceed 25°C. Avoid storing Lipitor in the bathroom, on windowsills, or in the car. Keep out of direct sunlight and away from moisture. Keep out of reach of children. Dispose of expired medication responsibly, following the instruction of your healthcare provider. Do not flush the medication down the toilet or sink. Do not share this medication with anyone else.

Side Effects

Common Side Effects

All medications come with a risk of side effects. It is important to recognize that your doctor has determined that the potential benefit provided by this medication outweighs the risk of side effects. You may experience some, all, or none of the side effects.

Lipitor use is commonly associated with:

  • Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Joint and/or muscle pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Cold-like symptoms, including runny nose
  • Nose bleeds
  • Rash
  • Urinary tract infection

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. While they are typically mild and short-lived, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you are at all concerned. If they worsen or do not resolve on their own, please contact your doctor as soon as you can.

Severe Side Effects

Occasionally, Lipitor can be associated with severe side effects that should be taken seriously. If you develop any of the following, seek medical help right away.

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Allergy symptoms include rash, itching, and facial swelling
  • Chest pain
  • Unusual muscle pain in conjunction with nausea and fever
  • Sudden headache accompanied by nausea, sensory loss, tinging, or tinnitus
  • Severe blistering of the facial or genital areas

Any of the above side effects should not be ignored. Call for help in the event of an emergency.

Some people may be allergic to Lipitor, which will present as a skin rash, itchiness, flushing, facial swelling, and swelling of the hands or feet. If you think you are having an allergic reaction, seek emergency medical help right away.

On rare occasions, Lipitor use can lead to rhabdomyolysis, a condition where the body begins to break down skeletal muscle. The products of this breakdown are released into the body, where they are filtered by the kidneys. This can overwhelm the filtration capacity of the kidneys and lead to permanent kidney damage or failure. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as nausea, brown or red urine, and severe muscle pain or weakness. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns.

Warnings & Precautions

Tell your doctor about any allergies you have, including those to other medications. Do not take Lipitor if you are allergic to the active ingredient atorvastatin or any of the other ingredients.

Lipitor is not recommended for pregnant people due to the risk it poses to the unborn baby. If you become pregnant or are at risk of becoming pregnant while taking Lipitor, inform your doctor right away. It is best to take measures to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. There is limited research as to whether this medication is excreted into breast milk. Therefore, it is not recommended to take Lipitor while breastfeeding.

Ensure you inform your doctor if you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, and/or alcohol use. Excessive consumption of alcohol while taking Lipitor can increase the risk of developing liver problems, therefore alcohol should be limited.

Your progress should be monitored while taking Lipitor, so be sure to keep in regular contact with your doctor about how you are feeling. Your doctor may also want to test your liver function while taking Lipitor to check for any changes or abnormalities. You will also need to regularly check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while on the medication.

Do not share this medication with anyone, even if they have the same condition.

Things You Can Do

There are things you can do while taking Lipitor to assist your condition:

  • Manage your weight with an approved diet plan from your doctor
  • Exercise regularly. Consult your doctor for appropriate exercises for you
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Stop smoking
  • Stay hydrated

Interactions & Contraindications

Interactions between medications may affect their action within the body. Keep a list of all the products you frequently take (non-prescription and prescription) along with their amounts and share this with your doctor. Do not start, stop, or make any changes to your dosage without approval from your doctor.

Products that may interact with Lipitor are daptomycin and gemfibrozil. Additionally, other medications can affect the removal of atorvastatin from the body (such as cyclosporine, telithromycin, glecaprevir plus pibrentasvir, and ritonavir) which can affect how it acts. Avoid any red yeast rice products as they can contain lovastatin, which when taken with atorvastatin can increase the risk of muscle and liver problems. Avoid grapefruit and its juices as it can affect how the medication is absorbed.

If you take other cholesterol-lowering drugs, take Lipitor one hour before or four hours after these medications to prevent their interaction.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Lipitor contains the active ingredient atorvastatin, which belongs to the group of drugs called statins. It is prescribed to lower the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides in the blood.

Lipitor can be taken at any time of day, so long as it is taken consistently at the same time each day.  Be sure to follow the instructions provided by your doctor carefully.

Lipitor can be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you remember close to the time of your next dose (or more than 12 hours after the time you were supposed to take the missed dose), skip the missed dose altogether. Take the following dose according to your dose schedule. Do not take two doses at the same time to catch up.

It is advisable to limit your alcohol intake while taking Lipitor. Do not start, stop, or change any medications (including Lipitor) without approval from your doctor. Do not get pregnant while taking Lipitor. If you happen to fall pregnant, stop taking Lipitor and contact your doctor right away.

Lipitor is prescribed to control cholesterol levels in the blood. It is helpful, but it is not a cure. Lipitor should therefore be taken for as long as it is recommended by your doctor. If you stop taking Lipitor, your cholesterol can return its pre-treatment level.

Lipitor has shown results within two weeks of the first dose. This is dependent on a consistent medication schedule. Results can vary between people. You should monitor your cholesterol levels and keep in contact with your doctor should you have any concerns.

People who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should not take Lipitor due to the risks it poses to the unborn baby or infant. People who have liver problems or allergies to Lipitor or any of its ingredients should not take this medication.

Lipitor can be prescribed to adults and children aged 10 years or older. These children need to have high cholesterol that has not improved with exercise and a low-fat diet alone. There is no research into the safety of using Lipitor in children aged under 10 years, therefore it is not recommended.