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Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Brand Name

Lipitor {Pfizer}

Generic Name

atorvastatin, pronounced a TOR va sta tin

Atorvastatin (Atorvastatin (Atorvastatin Calcium))

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Lipitor
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Disclaimer

The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

What is Lipitor?

Lipitor is a medication that can help to lower your cholesterol, especially your “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides. Lipitor may also help to raise your “good” cholesterol and help to lower your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or other heart complications.

 

Key Facts About Lipitor

Lipitor is in a class of medications called statins, which work by slowing down the production of cholesterol in your body. This helps to decrease the amount of cholesterol that may build up on the walls of your arteries, which could block the blood flow to your heart and brain.

Lipitor may help to reduce your low-density lipoprotein {LDL}, also known as your “bad” cholesterol.

Lipitor may help to raise your high-density lipoprotein {HDL}, also known as your “good” cholesterol.

Lipitor may be prescribed to help lower your levels of a type of fat in the blood stream or the blood tissue, called triglycerides.

Your doctor may have prescribed Lipitor for you to help lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, or other heart complications. This is important if you have risk factors such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Lipitor is approved to treat adults and children who are age 10 and older.

Lipitor may also be prescribed for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

 

Before You Take Lipitor

If you are allergic to atorvastatin you should not take Lipitor.

If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are breastfeeding you should not take Lipitor.

You should inform your doctor if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or a thyroid disorder before taking Lipitor.

Let your doctor know if you drink 2 or more alcoholic beverages daily. Alcohol can increase the risk of serious side effects if you are taking Lipitor. Your consumption of alcohol may also raise your triglyceride levels.

Lipitor can rarely cause a condition which results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, particularly if you also have unusual tiredness, a fever or dark colored urine. This condition is more likely to occur in older adults or in people who have uncontrolled hypothyroidism or kidney disease.

You should avoid eating foods that are high in fat. Lipitor is not as effective at lowering your cholesterol levels if you are not following a cholesterol-lowering diet plan and exercising.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may lead to potentially harmful side effects if you are taking Lipitor. Discuss your consumption of grapefruit products with your doctor.

 

Lipitor Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • amlodipine and atorvastatin (Caduet)
  • antibiotic medications such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) or erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole, dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate), or telithromycin (Ketek)
  • antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend)
  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • birth control pills
  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • conivaptan (Vaprisol)
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • darunavir (Prexista)
  • delavirdine (Rescriptor)
  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Dilacor, Diltia, Diltzac, Taztia, Tiazac)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla)
  • fenofibrate (Antara, Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide)
  • fenofibric acid (Fibricor, Trilipix)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • fosamprenavir (Lexiva)
  • gemfibrozil (Lopid)
  • imatinib (Gleevec)
  • indinavir (Crixivan)
  • isoniazid (tuberculosis treatment)
  • lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
  • lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor)
  • nefazodone (antidepressant)
  • nelfinavir (Viracept)
  • niacin products (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin)
  • nicardipine (Cardene)
  • quinidine (Quin-G)
  • ritonavir (Norvir)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • saquinavir (Invirase)
  • simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin)
  • sirolimus (Rapamune)
  • spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • telaprevir (Incivek)
  • tipranavir (Aptivus)
  • verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Lipitor. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.

 

Directions for Taking Lipitor

Lipitor is usually prescribed as a medication to take once daily, with or without food. You should take Lipitor exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may change your dose to make sure you get the best results from Lipitor. You should follow the instructions on your prescription label and not take Lipitor for longer than recommended by your doctor, or in larger or smaller doses.

If you experience uncontrolled seizures, a severe infection, extremely low blood pressure, an electrolyte imbalance, dehydration or a surgical/medical emergency you may need to stop taking Lipitor for a short time. Your doctor will inform you of when you should begin taking Lipitor again.

You may need to take Lipitor on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol. It is important that you follow up with your doctor on a regular basis to be sure that Lipitor is helping your condition and not causing you to have any adverse or harmful effects.

Lipitor should be stored at room temperature, and away from both moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose of Lipitor you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, or if your next dose is less than 12 hours away you should skip the dose you missed.

Lipitor Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Lipitor and seek emergency medical help immediately.

  • appetite loss
  • blurred vision
  • clay colored stools
  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing
  • exhaustion
  • fever
  • hives
  • hunger
  • increased thirst
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin)
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • nausea
  • swelling, especially of your face, lips, throat or tongue
  • urinary abnormalities, such as urinating less often or not at all, increased urinating, or extremely dark colored urine.
  • weight changes

Less serious side effects of Lipitor may include:

  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • headache
  • itching or rash
  • mild muscle pain
  • mild nausea
  • mild stomach pain
  • stuffy nose

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Lipitor. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.

 

Lipitor Description and Dosing

Lipitor is available in the following doses:

10 mg tablets, coded “10” on one side and “PD 155” on the other side.

20 mg tablets, coded “20” on one side and “PD 156” on the other side.

40 mg tablets, coded “40” on one side and “PD 157” on the other side.

80 mg tablets, coded “80” on one side and “PD 158” on the other side.

The typical starting dose of Lipitor is usually 10 mg or 20 mg s, taken once daily either with or without food.

If your doctor feels you need a large reduction in your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, you may be started at 40 mg , to be taken once a day.

The dosage range of Lipitor is 10 mg to 80 mg , typically taken once daily.

All people taking Lipitor should consult their doctor for specific dosing pertaining to them. Do not attempt to alter or change your dose without your physician’s consent.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Lipitor you should seek emergency help immediately.

Ingredients in Lipitor

Lipitor contains atorvastatin calcium as the active ingredient. Other ingredients include calcium carbonate, USP; candelilla wax, FCC; croscarmellose sodium, NF; hydroxypropyl cellulose, NF; lactose monohydrate, NF; magnesium stearate, NF; microcrystalline cellulose, NF; Opadry White YS-1-7040 (hypromellose, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide); polysorbate 80, NF; and simethicone emulsion.

 

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.