Lipitor

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Lipitor Brand Name(s): Lipitor.

Uses

What is Lipitor® (atorvastatin) used for?

Lipitor® belongs to a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or “statins.” Atorvastatin reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

Lipitor® is used to treat high cholesterol, and to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors.

Lipitor® is for use in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

How should I take Lipitor® (atorvastatin)?

Take Lipitor® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Lipitor® is usually taken once a day, with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day. Do not break a Lipitor® tablet before taking it.

How do I store Lipitor® (atorvastatin)?

Lipitor® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Lipitor® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Lipitor® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Lipitor® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Lipitor® (atorvastatin)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Lipitor® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You may need to stop using this medicine for a short time if you have:

  • Uncontrolled seizures
  • An electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low potassium levels in your blood)
  • Severely low blood pressure
  • A severe infection or illness
  • Surgery or a medical emergency

While using Lipitor®, you may need frequent blood tests.

Lipitor® is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.

Lipitor® can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Lipitor® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Lipitor®. Lipitor® is pregnancy risk category X, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Lipitor® (atorvastatin)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Kidney problems – little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath
  • Liver problems – nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Signs of a stroke – sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance

In rare cases, Lipitor® can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Lipitor®: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Lipitor® (atorvastatin)?

Lipitor® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Antibiotic or antifungal medicine
  • Birth control pills
  • Cholesterol-lowering medication
  • Heart medication
  • Medicine to treat HIV or AIDS

Does food or alcohol interact with Lipitor® (atorvastatin)?

Lipitor® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Lipitor® (atorvastatin)?

Lipitor® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • History of liver disease
  • History of kidney disease
  • History of stroke (including TIA or “mini-stroke”)
  • A thyroid disorder
  • If you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Lipitor® (atorvastatin).

What is the dose of Lipitor® (atorvastatin) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease:

Initial dose: 10 mg to 80 mg orally once a day.

The initial dosage recommended for this patient in the prevention of cardiovascular disease is 10 mg to 80 mg orally once a day. Lipitor® may be administered at any time of the day without regard for meals.

Dose adjustments should be made at intervals of 2 to 4 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipidemia:

Initial dose: 10, 20 or 40 mg orally once a day.

The 40 mg starting dose is recommended for patients who require a reduction in LDL-cholesterol of more than 45%.

Dose adjustments should be made at intervals of 2 to 4 weeks.

Maintenance dose: 10 to 80 mg orally once a day.

What is the dose of Lipitor® (atorvastatin) for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia:

10 to 17 years: 10 mg per day (max dose is 20 mg per day). Adjustments should be made at intervals of 4 weeks or more.

How is Lipitor® (atorvastatin) available?

Lipitor® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, film coated atorvastatin calcium trihydrate 10mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Lipitor®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: July 13, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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