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Prescribing Information for Atorvastatin (Lipitor):
What is atorvastatin?
Atorvastatin (Lipitor) is a medicine used to reduce and block the production of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood. Thus it can help to reduce the risks of heart disease and hardening of the arteries, diseases that can lead to stroke, heart attack and vascular disease especially in people suffering from coronary heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
What is important to know about atorvastatin?
Sometimes atorvastatin can cause the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue which can provoke kidney failure. Call your healthcare provider if you experience some of these symptoms: fever or cold symptoms, sudden pain, tenderness or weakness in your muscles, dark colored urine.
Atorvastatin must not be used if you have liver problems, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Atorvastatin can affect unborn babies and provoke birth defects in them. Choose an effective method of birth control and inform your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking atorvastatin.
Before using atorvastatin, let your healthcare provider know if you have any of these conditions: muscle disorder, underactive thyroid, diabetes, kidney problems, or if you have ever had liver disease.
For best result follow a special cholesterol-lowering diet and limit your consumption of food containing a lot of fat and cholesterol.
Do not drink alcohol while treating with atorvastatin as alcohol can increase triglyceride levels and injure your liver.
Atorvastatin and many other drugs can interact with each other. You should inform your healthcare provider about all the medicines you use including prescription and non-prescription medicines, minerals, herbal supplements and vitamins. Do not take any new medicine before talking with your doctor.
How should atorvastatin be used?
Follow the prescriptions of your doctor and the instructions which come with the medication carefully. Do not change your dose or exceed the recommended period of treatment with atorvastatin.
You can take atorvastatin with or without meal. Swallow atorvastatin with a full glass of liquid.
Atorvastatin is most commonly recommended to use once a day at the same time every day. Take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
To be sure that atorvastatin is helping your condition, the doctor will need to do regular checks of your blood and liver function. It is important for you not to miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Sometimes atorvastatin can be cause of the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue which can provoke kidney failure. Call your healthcare provider if you experience some of these symptoms: fever or cold symptoms, sudden pain, tenderness or weakness in your muscles, dark colored urine.
Besides taking atorvastatin, the cholesterol-lowering program includes weight control, diet and physical exercises. Follow this program very carefully.
You may need a long-term treatment with atorvastatin.
Keep atorvastatin at room temperature, away from light, heat and moisture.
What side effects can atorvastatin cause?
Get emergency medicine if you have any of the following symptoms of allergic reaction: trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking atorvastatin and call your doctor promptly if you develop any of the following serious conditions:
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- fever or cold symptoms, pain, tenderness or weakness in muscles.
Atorvastatin may also cause less serious side effects:
- constipation, bloating, gas;
- heartburn, mild nausea or stomach pain, stomach upset;
- itching, skin rash;
- headache; or
- stuffy nose.
Atorvastatin may also cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you need medical advice about them.