This is an oral drug prescribed to a patient. It is also available under a brand name called Lipitor. It also comes in a generic form which is less expensive/costly than the brand name form. This tablet can only come in one form, which is the tablet form taken through the mouth its generic name can also be atorvastatin, although it may not be available in all form and strength.

Uses of Atorvastatin

Atorvastatin can be used to improve cholesterol levels and deal with different types of cholesterol issues in people; it also decreases the chance of stroke and heart attack. It can be used together with diet plans and exercise for weight loss.

This product is used alongside a proper diet, in other to help lower bad cholesterol and fats (like triglycerides) and raise good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood system. It also belongs to a group of drugs known as statins. It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver, also lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides, raising good cholesterol to be able to decrease the risk of heart disease and help to prevent strokes, heart attacks, and other life-threatening situation.

In addition to having a proper diet plan like weight loss plans, other changes in routines and activities may help this medication work better. Some of those things you can add to your routine includes regular exercises, weight loss workout. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

It helps to prevent clogged arteries that block blood flow to your heart and brain; it also reduces the chances of cholesterol building up in your arteries. It can be used and combined with other medications that can reduce cholesterol and bile acid resins.

Carefully read the Patient Information Leaflet, available from your pharmacist before you begin taking this product. You can also do this every time you get a refill. If you are having any questions, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist.

You can take this medication through the mouth with or without food as directed/prescribed by your doctor, usually once daily.

Your medical condition will determine the amount of dosage and time to be given. Also, your response to treatment, age, and other medical conditions will also be taken into consideration. Make sure you inform your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you’re under or use (including prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal products).

How Atorvastatin work

Atorvastatin (Lipitor) is an oral drug belonging to a class of drugs known as statin, HMG, CoA reductase inhabitants are all a group of drugs that work in a similar way or perform similar tasks. It can also be used to treat similar conditions.

It is for treating elevated cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and elevate HDL cholesterol. It does this by lowering the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is bad cholesterol, and it raises the high-density lipoproteins(HDL) in your body which is also known as good cholesterol.

Atorvastatin side effects

This oral tablet houseboat has both minor and major side effects. First, let’s see the major then we will later see the major.

Atorvastatin Minor side effects

 These are common side effects that occur when using atorvastatin tablet. They include;

  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Joints and mild muscle pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Short memory
  • Heartburn
  • Cold

 These are the minor side effects the side effect tends to be mild and also temporary if they persist, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Atorvastatin Major side effects

These side effects are major and therefore, tends to be life-threatening. If you’re experiencing any of the following contact your doctor or pharmacist or nearby medical emergency service.

  • Muscle pains, which may come in the following form or experiences, tiredness, muscle breakdown and muscle weakness.
  • Loss of appetite
  • fever drowsiness
  • Liver problems, which also includes, loss of appetite, tiredness, dark colored urine.
  • Yellowish skin or eyes.

Note: please contact your doctor if you have any doubt or are experiencing any of the above-mentioned side effects.

Drugs that interact with Atorvastatin

There are drugs that can be taken when taking atorvastatin. They are medications like vitamins and herbs. Any interaction with the wrong medication may cause it to become harmful or even prevent the drugs from working well. To be able to avoid any wrong interactions, contact your doctor so he can manage all your medication carefully.

Also, make sure you inform your doctor on all the medications you may be taking with atorvastatin like the kind of vitamins or herbs. Here are some examples of drugs that can interact with atorvastatin.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs

Interacting with other medications that have cholesterol-lowering properties with atorvastatin can cause serious problems for muscles it could cause major muscle pains and muscle issues. Examples of medication that can interact with atorvastatin include;

  • Gemfibrozil
  • Niacin

These medications could be revisited by your doctor to avoid taking them together or by changing the dosage and time.

Antibiotics

When taking atorvastatin with other medications like antibiotics can cause serious muscle problems. These drugs include the following;

  • Clarithromycin
  • Erythromycin

Birth control pill

Taking birth control pills with atorvastatin may increase chances of contraceptive hormones in your blood system. Atorvastatin should not be taken during pregnancy, because it reduces cholesterol in the body and the fetus needs cholesterol to develop.

Hiv drugs

Taking HIV drugs with atorvastatin could cause a serious problem. Although not all HIV drugs but some of them can cause a serious breakdown in your muscles. Contact your doctor and make sure you avoid all these drugs to reduce the chances of getting a life-threatening problem. Some of these HIV drugs include;

  • Ritonavir
  • Tipranavir
  • Darunavir
  • Lopinavir

Warnings/precautions

Make sure you get emergency medical help if you have noticed any signs of an allergic reaction: difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In some rare cases, atorvastatin(Lipitor) is able to cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, that may lead to kidney failure. Contact your doctor, if you have any unexplained muscle pain, or tenderness, or weakness

Some allergy warnings

This drugs can cause serious allergic reactions. Some of the allergies/reactions may include;

  • Swelling face, lips or throat.
  • Difficulty breathing.

If you are facing any of these symptoms, please contact any emergency service or doctor. These allergies are fatal and can cause loss of life, so you are advised to withdraw from taking the drugs to eliminate chances of death.

Atorvastatin Interactions with food warning

Avoid any intake or too much intake of grapefruit juice when taking atorvastatin. This could cause building up of atorvastatin in the blood and can cause a serious muscular breakdown. Seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor to inquire on how much grapefruit juice is required for you to take to avoid food interactions.

Warnings for certain health problems

Kidney problems: people having kidney problems have high chances of muscle breakdown. When taking this drug to meet your doctor to see the medication that can fit your problem to avoid suffering muscle breakdown.

Liver problems: people having liver disease or problem should not take atorvastatin as it can worsen medical condition(damage the liver more)

Diabetes patient: those having or who have been diagnosed with diabetes should enquire from their doctor on how their diabetes medication should be taken. This should be done before taking atorvastatin because it is known for increasing sugar level and worsening your medical condition.

Warnings for other conditions

Women nursing a baby: Atorvastatin (Lipitor) often gets into the breast milk and can harm the child during breastfeeding. This product is not recommended for intake when your breastfeeding your child. Meet your doctor to advise you on how to use this product to avoid harming your child.

Warning for pregnant women: As already discussed atorvastatin is known for reducing cholesterol in the body this product is not to be taken during pregnancy as it is unsafe for the child as the fetus requires cholesterol to develop.

Warning for children: This product has not been studied on children and is not safe for children of age 10 and below. This product has been tested to be safe on children at the age of 10 and above.

Atorvastatin Dosage information

This product is best prescribed by a reliable doctor or pharmacist. This product dosage depends on the factors as stated below

  • Age factor
  • Ailment
  • The severity of the medical condition
  • Other medical factors
  • Dosage reaction

Product strength and form

 Like we said earlier atorvastatin(Lipitor) has a brand name product and generic product. This form tends to differ in some properties as seen below;

The generic product is also known as atorvastatin. It comes in an oral tablet form. It also has the following strengths: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, and 80 mg.

The brand name form which is known as Lipitor. This product comes in an oral tablet form. It also comes in the following strengths: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80mg.

Heart diseases prevention dosage

adult (18-64 years)

  • 10 to 20 mg once per day for a typical starting dosage.
  • 10 to 80 mg once per day for typical maintenance dosage.

Ages lesser than 18 and above 65 years

 This product has not been approved for children of age 17 and below for preventing heart diseases. Also, the product is not fit for those of age 65 and above due to their week kidneys. It will cause problems for them like giving them some of the side effects mentioned in the article due to the slow effect of the drugs.

Atorvastatin Dosage for cholesterol issues

Adults (18 to 64 years)

  • 10-20 mg once per day for the typical starting dosage.
  • 10-80 mg once per day for the typical maintenance dosage.

Children dosage(10-17years)

  • For the typical starting dosage, take 10mg once per day.
  • For the maximum dosage take 20mg once per day.

Ages less than 9 and older than 65years

 This product has not been studied in children of age 9, and below for this specific purpose it is advised that this product not be used for those below the age range. Also, those above the age of 65 years are also advised not to use this product because of how old their kidney may have become causing this product to walk slowly increasing the risk of side effects.

Atorvastatin Prevent overdosage

 This product is used for long-term treatment and includes serious risk if taken outside the required prescription. Taking too much of atorvastatin can cause some serious problems. The following are symptoms/signs of overdosage;

  • Joint pain
  • Short memory
  • Confusion
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold
  • Stomach upset
  • Muscle pains
  • Jaundice

How to prevent Atorvastatin overdose

Take the required does as prescribed from pharmacist or doctor.

Your medication may up working if you miss a dose. Try and take all the prescribed drugs on time.

Situations needing doctors assistance

Diet plan

 Making sure your doctor is aware and up to date on your present diet plan is very important. This would help him to practice the necessary and required amount of does for you.

Undergoing clinical treatment

 Make sure your doctor is aware of all the necessary health issues(HIV, diabetes) and also cholesterol levels so he can make the necessary adjustments to your atorvastatin dosage.

Important info to note

  • When taking atorvastatin to keep the following in mind.
  • Do not break the oral tablet or crush it unless prescribed by a professional doctor.
  • Store this product at room temperatures between. 68°F(20°C) and 77°F(25°C). Do not expose to high temperatures.
  • Do not store these drugs in wet or moist areas.

Recognize Atorvastatin alternative

 Know that if this medication does not suit you due to medical complications and problems, that there are other medical solutions to your problem. Do not try and force yourself under any condition to take this product, if there are possibilities of risky side effects to follow or come. Talk to your doctor to inform you about medical alternatives to your problem. This article has made the available information accessible to you for you to be able to confirm or clear your doubts on the product. Always make sure you get help and assistance from a medically licensed doctor as it involves your personal health and welfare.