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15 Feb 2012 01:28 AM

Atorvastatin, the Drug for Lowering Cholesterol

Atorvastatin is a drug used for reducing blood cholesterol. It is available under the brand name Lipitor. It also helps in stabilizing plaque and prevention of stroke, cardiovascular disease like unstable angina. The medicine helps in treatment of dyslipidemia. The medicine lowers the possibility of a heart attack and heart surgery by decreasing the cholesterol, which is responsible for heart ailments. The medicine should be used by patients only when other methods like diet and exercise have failed to improve the level of cholesterol. In rare cases, the use of medicine can lead to rhabdomyolysis, resulting in renal failure. The use of Lipitor must be discontinued in such cases. The medicine should not be used by patients who have a high level of CPK, creatine phosphokinase and by patients who are diagnosed with myopathy. Atorvastatin should not be used by pregnant and nursing women.
Atorvastatin is taken orally in the form of a tablet. Patients should take the medicine once daily. You can take the medicine with food or without it. Use the medicine as prescribed by the doctor. If you do not understand the prescription, take the help of a doctor or pharmacist who will explain the directions on the prescription label. The doctor will usually prescribe a low dose of the medicine and increase it gradually. Use the medicine even when you are feeling well. Before using the medicine, you must tell the doctor if you have an allergy for it. Also, tell the doctor about all other medicines, supplements, herbal medicines that you are using. Patients with liver disease should not use the medicine. If you have to undergo a surgery, including dental treatment, you must inform the doctor about the use of Atorvastatin. You must use alcoholic drinks in a safe manner as it can lead to serious side effects. If you miss a dose of Atorvastatin, take it when you remember. However, skip it if there is a gap of less than twelve hours until the next dose. Do not make up for the missed dose by taking double dose of the medicine.
You must consume a diet that has a low amount of fat and cholesterol. Monounsaturated oils like olive and peanut oil should be used. You can also use polyunsaturated oils like safflower, sunflower, and soybean oil. Do not eat fatty food items like meat, egg yolk, coconut, chocolate, palm oil, cream, butter, pastries, cake, peanut butter, potato chips, coconut oil, whole milk, shortening, gravy, olives, and fried food.
Side effects of Atorvastatin are headache, weakness, dizziness, gas, rash, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, arthralgia, myalgia, pharyngitis, rhinitis, joint pain, and allergic reaction. There may be insomnia, infection, flu, chest pain, constipation, back pain, sinusitis, bronchitis, peripheral edema, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, urinary tract infection, memory loss, and arthritis. Serious side effects of the medicine are pain in the muscles and chest, rash, breathing problem, loss of appetite, flu, hives, hoarseness, weakness, fever, nausea, difficulty in swallowing, unusual bleeding, yellow skin and eyes, itching and swelling. Consult a doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.
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