Lipitor (atorvastatin) 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). It 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.
Therapy with lipid-altering agents should be only one component of multiple risk factor intervention in individuals at significantly increased risk for atherosclerotic vascular disease due to hypercholesterolemia. Drug therapy is strongly recommended as an adjunct to diet when the response to a diet restricted in saturated fat and cholesterol and other nonpharmacologic measures alone has been inadequate. In patients with Congestive Heart Disease (CHD) or multiple risk factors for CHD, LIPITOR can be started simultaneously with diet.
You should not take Lipitor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease.
Stop taking Lipitor and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Serious drug interactions can occur when certain medicines are used together with Lipitor. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use now, and any medicine you start or stop using.
In very rare cases, atorvastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue also known as myodystrophy, 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.
Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Lipitor will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.
Lipitor is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium)
Common side effects of Lipitor include nasopharyngitis, diarrhea, and arthralgia. Other side effects include urinary tract infection, limb pain, insomnia, myalgia, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, and muscle spasm. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
Recommended start dose: 10 or 20 mg once daily