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Lipitor {Pfizer}

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atorvastatin, pronounced a TOR va sta tin

Atorvastatin (Atorvastatin (Atorvastatin Calcium))

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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 the brand name of a prescription drug made by Pfizer. The generic name of the medicine is atorvastatin. It is pronounced as a-tor-va-sta-tin. It is also known as atorvastatin calcium. The drug is prescribed to adults suffering from high bad cholesterol. The medicine can lower the bad cholesterol and raise the levels of good cholesterol. It can also regulate triglycerides. The drug can help alleviate or even avert heart ailments or cardiovascular diseases including heart attack. It can also reduce the risk of stroke.

 

Key Facts About Lipitor

Lipitor belongs to a group of medicines known as statins. These drugs slow down the secretion of cholesterol, thereby reducing the level of bad cholesterol. It is the bad cholesterol that builds up along the arterial walls. This slows down the normal flow of blood and may even cause blockage, thereby directly affecting the blood flow to the brain and heart.

Lipitor is capable of lowering the levels of low density lipoprotein, abbreviated as LDL. This is what is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol. The drug can also increase the level of high density lipoprotein, abbreviated as HDL. This is commonly referred to as good cholesterol. The medicine can regulate the level of triglycerides in the blood. Triglycerides are a specific kind of fat that is found in the human blood stream and blood tissues.

Lipitor can be prescribed to those who have high levels of bad cholesterol and also to any adult who is at risk of suffering a stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems owing to high cholesterol. People with coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes are particularly at risk of heart attack and stroke. While the drug is primarily for adults, it is often prescribed for kids aged ten or above. Doctors may prescribe Lipitor for other purposes.

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

Don’t take the drug if you have had allergic reactions to atorvastatin. Lipitor should not be prescribed to pregnant and breastfeeding women. If you are planning to get pregnant, it is best to avoid the drug. People with kidney disease, liver disease and thyroid condition should let their doctors know before starting on a course. While on the medication, you should avoid alcohol consumption. If you do consume alcohol, limit it to a maximum of two drinks. There are many side effects of the medicine and alcohol will make them worse. Alcohol consumption will also increase the level of triglycerides in your blood.

Lipitor has some serious side effects. Although rare, it can adversely affect the skeletal muscle tissue, leading to a breakdown. This condition is not common but it is serious and can cause kidney failure. If you experience weakness, tenderness or muscle pain for no apparent reason, you should immediately speak with your doctor. Normal exhaustion is fine but anything unusual or chronic fatigue is serious. If you urine turn dark after taking Lipitor, speak with your doctor. Older people are more vulnerable to this side effect, especially those who already have a kidney ailment and uncontrolled hypothyroidism.

Lipitor does not work if you do not alter your diet. It is imperative for you to adopt a diet low in fat. Fatty foods will continue to increase the levels of bad cholesterol so the effects of the drug will simply be countered. Exercise is also equally important. You should avoid drinking grapefruit juice and eating grapefruit as there can be some dangerous interaction, leading to severe side effects. Speak to your doctor before you make substantial changes to your diet.

 

Lipitor Drug Interactions

Lipitor interacts with Caduet or atorvastatin and amlodipine, various antibiotics including Biaxin or clarithromycin, EryPed or Erythrocin whose generic name is erythromycin, Synercid or dalfopristin, Rifater and Rifamate or rifampin and Ketek or telithromycin, antifungal drugs such as Diflucan or fluconazole, Sporanox or itraconazole, Nizoral or ketoconazole and Vfend or voriconazole.

You should inform your doctor if you are taking birth control pills, Reyataz or atazanavir, Tagamet or cimetidine, Vaprisol or conivaptan, Neoral and Gengraf or cyclosporine, Prexista or darunavir, Rescriptor or delavirdine and diltiazem or any of its branded variants.

Don’t combine Lipitor with Lanoxin or digoxin, Atripla or efavirenz, fenofibrate and its branded variants, Fibricor or fenofibric acid, Lescol or fluvastatin, Lexiva or fosamprenavir, Lopid or gemfibrozil, Gleevec or imatinib, Crixivan or indinavir, isoniazid, Kaletra or lopinavir, Altoprev or lovastatin and nefazodone or niacin products.

Avoid taking Viracept or nelfinavir, Cardene or nicardipine, Quin-G or quinidine, Norvir or ritonavir, Crestor or rosuvastatin, Invirase or saquinavir, Rapamune or sirolimus, simvastatin spironolactone, tacrolimus, telaprevir, tipranavir and verapamil or any of their branded variants when you are on Lipitor.

The drug may interact severely or mildly with other medicines. It is best to discuss all the medicines you take or might take, including over the counter drugs, with your doctor to be safe. Lipitor may also interact with vitamins and supplements including herbal products.

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

Adhere to the instructions provided by your doctor. In most cases, people are prescribed to take Lipitor only once every day. One may take it without or with food. The exact dosage and other instructions do vary from person to person. Do not stop short of the full course and do not prolong the course. Don’t go for smaller or larger doses.

If you miss a dose, you should try and make up for it as soon as you can. Don’t combine doses. Keep your stock of the drug in a dry place, protected from sunlight, heat and moisture. Room temperature is fine. Refrigeration is not necessary.

You should immediately report serious side effects, such as seizures, infections, electrolyte imbalance, plummeting blood pressure and constant dehydration. Your doctor may ask you to skip the medicine for a few days and observe how you feel. You may resume the medicine after you feel normal.

High cholesterol is usually a chronic condition, especially among older and obese people. Hence, Lipitor is often prescribed for the long term. The treatment is ongoing and the objective is to regulate the levels of bad cholesterol while increasing the levels of good cholesterol. Regular consumption in the long run does not have any major problem unless you are experiencing some serious side effects.

Lipitor Side Effects

The side effects of Lipitor include loss of appetite, confusion, blurred vision, breathing problem, fever, exhaustion, hunger, hives, dehydration and increased thirst, muscle weakness and pain, jaundice, swelling of face and lips, tongue and throat or any of the parts, nausea, urinary problems including dark urine, clay colored stools and changes in weight. You may also experience some milder side effects such as constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea, headache, mild pain in the stomach and in muscles, rash, itching and stuffy nose. You should report all serious side effects and seek emergency medical care if you are unable to bear some of the reactions.

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 tablets come in four dosage or strengths, ranging from 10 mg to 80 mg. You may be prescribed the least dosage initially and your doctor may increase it gradually. You may be given a 40 mg dosage straightaway depending on the level of bad cholesterol in your blood. Do not change your dosage without the approval of your doctor.

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

The main active ingredient in Lipitor is atorvastatin calcium. The tablets also contain calcium carbonate, croscarmellose sodium, candelilla wax, hydroxypropyl cellulose, magnesium stearate, lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, talc, polyethylene glycol and titanium dioxide, simethicone emulsion and polysorbate 80.

 

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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.