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Atorvastatin (Generic Lipitor) is a statin medication to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) and raise good cholesterol (HDL) when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. Atorvastatin reduces the risk of heart attack, heart disease, or stroke. Excess cholesterol and fatty substances in your blood accumulate along artery walls and decrease blood flow, making it harder for your heart to pump enough blood to supply oxygen to your body.
Atorvastatin can be prescribed for men and women to lower cholesterol, as well as children age 10 to 17 with an inherited condition that prevents them from removing cholesterol from their body normally (heterozygous hypercholesterolemia).
Do not take atorvastatin if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have liver disease.
Atorvastatin is the generic version of Lipitor.
Atorvastatin requires a prescription. You can renew your atorvastatin prescription at Blink Health. All generic medications sold through Blink Health Pharmacy are FDA-approved.
How Atorvastatin works
Atorvastatin is in a class of medications called statins, or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors that lower bad cholesterol by blocking an enzyme in your liver used to produce LDL cholesterol. They can also raise good cholesterol levels.
Take atorvastatin by mouth usually once a day, with or without food, or as otherwise directed by your doctor. Taking it around the same time every day increases effectiveness. Do not take more or less than prescribed without talking to your doctor.
Atorvastatin is an FDA-approved generic form of Lipitor. The FDA requires all generic medications have the same active ingredients and the same safety, effectiveness, dosage form, and strength as their brand-name counterpart.
Most common side effects of Atorvastatin
Diarrhea or gas
Joint, arm, or leg pain
Memory loss or confusion
Serious side effects:
Muscle pain or weakness
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Pain in the upper right side of your stomach
Yellowing of your skin or eyes
Rash, hives, or itching
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Swelling in your face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, legs, or ankles
Tell your doctor about all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins you are taking, especially:
Antifungals or antibiotics
HIV protease inhibitors
Atorvastatin dosage information
Atorvastatin comes in these tablet doses:
Alternative statin medications include:
Why Was I Prescribed a Statin?
Statins are the most common medication prescribed to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and to increase good cholesterol (HDL) in the bloodstream. Read more.
How Long Will I Need to Take a Statin For?
Depending on your health history, your lifestyle habits may determine how long you need cholesterol medication. Read more.
Can I Drink Grapefruit Juice While Taking a Statin?
There’s a lot to like about this tropical beverage—but it can be a risky choice if you’re taking certain statin medications. Read more.
How to use atorvastatin
Always read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medication before starting atorvastatin, and every time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your clinician or pharmacist.
Take atorvastatin by mouth, either with or without food as directed by your licensed medical professional, usually once per day.
Your dosage is based on your medical condition, age, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your clinician and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs and nonprescription drugs, as well as herbal products).
Unless your licensed medical professional tells you otherwise, don't eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while using atorvastatin. Grapefruit can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your clinician or pharmacist for more detailed information.
If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), be sure to take atorvastatin at least one hour before or at least four hours after taking these medications. These products can prevent the full absorption of atorvastatin in your body.,
Take atorvastatin regularly so that you can get the greatest benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. Since most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides don't feel ill, it's important to continue taking atorvastatin even if you feel well.
It is very important to continue to follow your licensed medical professional's advice about exercise and diet. It can take up to four weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Atorvastatin Side Effects
It's important to be aware of possible side effects before you start taking a medication. Here are the listed side effects for this drug:
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very small number of people taking atorvastatin may have mild memory problems or confusion. If these rare effects occur, talk to your doctor.
Rarely, statins may cause or worsen diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.
This drug may rarely cause muscle problems (which can rarely lead to very serious conditions called rhabdomyolysis and autoimmune myopathy). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms during treatment and if these symptoms persist after your doctor stops this drug: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
This medication may rarely cause liver problems. If you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects, tell your doctor right away: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Atorvastatin Warnings and Precautions
It's also important to be aware of precautions and warnings around taking this medication.
Before taking atorvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with atorvastatin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially muscle problems.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. Atorvastatin may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Atorvastatin Pill Storage
Keep your atorvastatin at room temperature (between 68-77 degrees F or 20-25 degrees C), and away from light and moisture. Do not store this medication in the bathroom. Keep atorvastatin, and all medicines, away from children and pets.
Unless you are instructed to do so, do not flush atorvastatin down the toilet or pour it into a drain. If your atorvastatin has expired or you no longer need it, ask your pharmacist or local waste disposal company how to safely discard it.
Atorvastatin Drug Interactions
Drug interactions may change how atorvastatin works or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Share a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs, plus herbal products) and share it with your clinician and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your licensed medical professional's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: daptomycin, gemfibrozil.
Other medications may affect the removal of atorvastatin from your body, which can impact how atorvastatin works. Examples include glecaprevir plus pibrentasvir, cyclosporine, ritonavir, telaprevir, and telithromycin, among others.
As some red yeast rice products may also contain a statin called lovastatin, do not take any red yeast rice products while you are taking atorvastatin. Taking red yeast rice products and atorvastatin together may increase your risk of serious liver and muscle problems.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose of atorvastatin, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, you should skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
May include selected content from the Licensed Solutions data, included with permission and copyrighted by FDB, inc., 2014. This copyrighted material has been downloaded and Licensed data is not for distribution in professional healthcare settings. This copyrighted material has been downloaded and Licensed data provider and is not for distribution in professional healthcare settings. This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking any drug or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
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