Generic Name: atorvastatin (a TOR va sta tin)
Brand Names: Lipitor
Lipitor (atorvastatin) belongs to a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or "statins." Lipitor 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).
Lipitor 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.
Lipitor is used in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.
Lipitor may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Take Lipitor exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not break an Lipitor tablet unless your doctor has told you.
Lipitor is usually taken once a day, with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
You may need to stop using Lipitor for a short time if you have:
an electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low potassium levels in your blood);
severely low blood pressure;
a severe infection or illness; or
surgery or a medical emergency.
To be sure Lipitor is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
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. You may need to take Lipitor on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol. Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Lipitor: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking Lipitor and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness;
fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine;
swelling, weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all; or
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious Lipitor side effects may include:
mild muscle pain;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
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.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Lipitor and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 12 hours away. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open. Store at controlled room temperature between 20 to 25 degrees C (68 to 77 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.