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Lipitor is a reductase inhibitor drug that is used with diet to treat high cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and increasing good cholesterol (HDL).
Atorvastatin is a selective inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase which is an enzyme that contributes to cholesterol formation. By inhibiting this enzyme, the medication increases the number of hepatic LDL receptors which increases the absorption of LDL and helps lower bad cholesterol.
Lipitor helps lower the risk of stroke and cardiac problems for those with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and genetically high cholesterol levels.
Uses and Dosage
The dose of Lipitor prescribed will vary depending on the person being treated. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and directives when taking medication.
- Take with or without food
- Take Lipitor at the same time each day
- Do not break the tablet before taking it unless directed by a doctor
- Adults usually start by taking 10 or 20mg once a day
- Adults aren’t recommended to take more than 80mg a day
- Do not double dose
- Lipitor may take up to 2 weeks to improve your cholesterol
- Use Lipitor as part of a treatment program including diet and exercise
- Store away from moisture, heat, and children at room temperature
You may need to take a brief pause in your Lipitor doses if you experience the following:
- Uncontrolled seizures
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Severely low blood pressure
- Severe infection or illness
- Surgery or medical emergency
Lipitor may cause some side effects while it balances your cholesterol levels. Speak with your doctor for more information and advice concerning any symptoms you may encounter when taking Lipitor.
Common Lipitor side effects:
- Joint pain
- Stuffy nose, sore throat
- Pain in arms or legs
Serious Side Effects
Some more serious side effects may occur when taking Lipitor. Stop taking this medication and call your doctor right away if you notice any of the following:
- Muscle weakness in hips, shoulders, neck, and back
- Trouble lifting your arms
- Trouble standing or climbing stairs
- Liver problems (upper stomach pain, weakness, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice)
- Kidney problems (trouble urinating, swelling in feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath)
In rare situations atorvastatin could lead to a condition that breaks down skeletal muscle tissue which can lead to kidney failure. Call your doctor immediately if you notice unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if joined by a fever, unusual tiredness, or dark coloured urine.
Do not take Lipitor if you are allergic to Atorvastatin. Stop taking this medication and speak with your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction.
Lipitor allergy symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling in face, lips, tongue, or throat
Atorvastatin is not approved for treatment in anyone under the age of 10 years old.
Do not take Lipitor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease. Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Lipitor because it can raise levels of triglycerides that increase your risk for liver damage.
Certain medications may interact with atorvastatin and cause serious side effects or increase your risk for serious muscle problems. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take to ensure your safety, especially the following:
- Other cholesterol medications
- Antibiotic or antifungal medicine
- Birth control pills
- Medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection
- Heart medication
- Medicine for hepatitis C or HIV
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with atorvastatin and cause unwanted side effects. Avoid ingesting more than 1 liter of grapefruit juice each day while taking Lipitor.
Consult with your doctor to ensure the safety of taking Lipitor; tell them if you have ever had any of the following:
- Liver problems
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid disorder
- If you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
Avoid foods high in fat or cholesterol while taking Lipitor because it won’t be as effective when not used alongside a diet plan targeting cholesterol level. Lipitor should be used as part of a program of treatment including diet, exercise and weight control.
Form and Strength
This medication is available in tablet form.
Lipitor tablet strengths:
The 5mg tablets are available in quantities of 100. The 10, 20, 40, and 84mg tablets are all available in quantities of 28, 30, 84, and 90.
Can you use limes or lime juice while taking Lipitor?
Citrus fruits including limes, pomegranates, and oranges could interact with statin drugs like Lipitor as well as grapefruit. There hasn’t been as much research into the impact of different types of citrus fruits on statins, but small amounts are not likely to cause a significant issue.
Does Lipitor work better if taken at night?
Lipitor can be taken whenever is most convenient for you without losing effectiveness. Because atorvastatin has a half-life of 14 hours and is active in your body for up to 30 hours, the time of day won’t change how it affects your cholesterol levels.
Do I need to take Lipitor with food?
You can take Lipitor with or without food without changing the effectiveness of the medication. Atorvastatin is quickly absorbed into your system and reaches maximum plasma concentrations within the first 2 hours after taking your dose.
Atorlip, Atorvastatin, Lipitor
5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 80mg
28, 30, 84, 90, 100