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Atorvastatin

Name of generic: atorvastatin [A-TOR-va-sta-tin]
The brand names are Atorvaliq and Lipitor.
Dosage forms: oral suspension (20 mg/5 ml), oral tablet (10 mg; 20 mg; 40 mg; 80 mg)
Drug class: Statins

What is Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is part of a class of drugs known as HMG-coa reductase inhibitors (statins). It is a drug that slows down the process of making cholesterol within the body. This reduces levels of cholesterol that could accumulate in the arteries' walls, which can block access to blood vessels for the brain, heart, and other areas of the human body.

Atorvastatin is used in conjunction with weight loss, diet, and exercise to decrease the risk of suffering from heart attacks and strokes and also to reduce the likelihood that surgery is required in patients with heart disease or who are at risk of developing heart disease.

Atorvastatin can also be utilised to reduce the quantity of fatty substances like lower-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ('bad cholesterol') and triglycerides in the blood and to boost the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ('good cholesterol') in the blood.

Atorvastatin is also a possibility to reduce the amount of cholesterol as well as other fatty substances found in the blood of adolescents and children aged 10 to 17 who suffer from familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia (an inheritable condition that means cholesterol is not eliminated from the body in a normal manner).

The accumulation of cholesterol and other fats in the arteries' walls (a process called atherosclerosis) reduces blood flow and consequently oxygen flow to your brain, heart, and the rest of your body. Lowering your blood levels of cholesterol and fats by taking atorvastatin is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and angina (chest pain), as well as strokes and heart attacks.

Warnings

It is not recommended to use atorvastatin in the event of an underlying liver problem or cirrhosis.

Atorvastatin could cause the degeneration of muscle tissue, which may cause renal failure. Consult your doctor immediately in the event of unexplained muscular discomfort, tenderness, achy joints, or weakness, especially if you suffer from fever, unusual fatigue, or dark or pallid urine.

Drug interactions that are serious can happen when certain medicines are taken alongside atorvastatin. Be sure to inform your healthcare professionals about all medications you are currently taking as well as any medications that you are able to stop or begin using.

Beware of eating foods loaded with cholesterol or fat. Atorvastatin is not as effective in reducing your cholesterol if you do not adhere to a cholesterol-lowering diet.

Atorvastatin is only one part of a full treatment program that includes exercise, diet, and weight management. Be sure to follow your diet, medications, and exercise regimens with the utmost care.

Before you Take this Drug

It is not recommended to use  atorvastatin if you have an allergy to it or if you suffer from liver disease or cirrhosis.

To be sure atorvastatin is safe for you, ask your doctor if you've ever experienced:

  • Muscle discomfort or weakness
  • Diabetes;
  • Stroke;
  • An thyroid disorder;
  • A practice of having more than two alcohol-related drinks per day or
  • Kidney disease.

Atorvastatin can lead to the degeneration of muscle tissue, which could cause kidney failure. This is more common in women, especially in older people or in those with kidney diseases or hypothyroidism that is not properly controlled (underactive thyroid).

Atorvastatin could harm a newborn baby. Tell your doctor when you're pregnant.

Check with your doctor to get advice on whether it is safe to breastfeed while taking this medicine.

How to Take Atorvastatin?

You should take atorvastatin exactly as directed by your physician. Follow the instructions on the prescription label and go through all medication guides and instruction sheets. The doctor might modify your dosage.

Do not alter your dosage or discontinue taking any medication without consulting your physician.

Atorvastatin is typically taken once a day. Follow the instructions of your physician.

It is possible to take the tablet version of this medication in combination with food or not.

The liquid medicine should be taken with a full stomach, at least one hour prior to having a meal or two hours after eating.

It could take as long as two weeks before your cholesterol levels increase, and you may require regular blood tests. Even if there are no symptoms, test results will help your doctor determine if the medicine is working.

Shake your oral suspension (liquid). Use the device that comes with it (not an ordinary spoon).

The treatment could also comprise exercises, diet control, and blood tests.

Keep at room temperature, away from heat, humidity, and light.

Toss away in the garbage any liquid that is not used within 60 days of breaking the bottle.

What Happens If I Miss a Dose?

Take the medication as quickly as you can. However, do not take any missed dosage if you are more than 12 hours late for the dose. Don't take two doses at the same time.

What Happens If I Overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency medical attention or contact the Poison Help line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What Should be Avoided?

Do not eat foods that have high levels of cholesterol or fat, and atorvastatin may not be as effective.

Alcohol consumption can increase the chance of suffering from liver damage.

Grapefruit could interfere with atorvastatin and trigger adverse consequences. Beware of grapefruit-related products and consume more than 1.2 Liters of grapefruit juice daily.

Side Effects of Atorvastatin

Contact a medical professional immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms warning of an allergic reaction to orvastatin (hives and breathing difficulties or swelling in your throat or face) or a severe reaction to your skin (fever or burning eyes, sore throat or skin pain, an ailment that is purple or red that blisters and peels),

Atorvastatin could cause the degeneration of muscles, which could cause kidney failure. Consult your doctor immediately in the event of unproven muscular pain, tenderness, or weakness. This is especially true in the event that you are also suffering from fatigue, fever, and dark or dark-colored urine.

Muscle issues are more prevalent in older people and those with thyroid or kidney issues or who are taking certain medications.

Contact your doctor at the earliest opportunity if you are suffering from:

  • Muscles that are weak in your shoulders, hips, neck, back, and hips;
  • Difficulties lifting your arms, or trouble getting up or standing;
  • Liver issues weight loss abdominal pain (upper right edge) fatigue, itchiness of the skin, dark urine, stool coloured by clay, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin);
  • Kidney issues swelling, urination less frequently, feeling exhausted or sluggish, and
  • Blood sugar levels are high, increasing thirst, more frequent urination, a dry mouth, and a fruity breath smell.

Common side effects of atorvastatin could include:

  • Discomfort in your spine, joints, muscles, or bones;
  • Burning and pain when you pee; burning urinary tract;
  • Muscle spasms,
  • Upset stomach;
  • Difficulty sleep;
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose sore throat, stuffy nose;
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or
  • Discomfort in your arms or legs.

This isn't a complete list of possible side effects, and other effects may also be present. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on the effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with Other Drugs

There are times when it's not recommended to take certain medications simultaneously. Certain medications can alter your blood levels and the other drugs you are taking, which could increase the risk of developing serious muscle issues or render the medications less effective.

Discuss with your doctor the medicines you are currently taking. Numerous drugs can interfere with atorvastatin. These include:

  • Other medicines to lower cholesterol levels, such as gemfibrozil, niacin, fenofibric acid, fenofibric acid, and many more,
  • Colchicine;
  • Antifungal or antibiotic medicines: rifampin, Erythromycin, itraconazole, clarithromycin, posaconazole, and voriconazole.
  • Birth control pills;
  • Medicines to avoid the risk of organ donation rejection or
  • Antiviral medication to treat hepatitis C as well as HIV.

This list isn't complete, and other drugs could be incompatible with atorvastatin. This includes over-the-counter and prescription medications, vitamins, and herbal products. The interactions of all drugs are listed here.

 

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