Lipitor (Atorvastatin) Dosage and Side Effects
To aid in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, Lipitor (Atorvastatin) is prescribed to patients to help lower cholesterol and other fats in the blood. In addition to taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin), you may be advised of the following: Exercise, eat a proper diet and monitor weight.
Lipitor (Atorvastatin) should be taken as a single dose with or without food, but avoiding grapefruit. Take your medication as directed by your doctor. Always inform your doctors and other medical health or dental professionals that you are taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin).
Depending on your levels of cholesterol and target reduction, you may be prescribed the following: Lipitor (Atorvastatin) 10mg, Lipitor (Atorvastatin) 20mg, Lipitor (Atorvastatin) 40mg or Lipitor (Atorvastatin) 80mg. In the case of children aged 10-17 years old, there is a maximum dose of 20mg daily.
Do not take more of this medication than directed. If you are experiencing an overdose or suspect one, contact an emergency health professional or poison control center. Even if you or the person in question is not experiencing symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.
If you have missed a pill, take it when you remember; however, do not double up on a dose to make up for the missed one. If you remember to take your missed dose too close to your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose.
Side Effects of Lipitor
Side effects are not common with Lipitor (Atorvastatin), but there are side effects associated with taking it for some people. Some of these effects may include:
- Skin rash
- Depression in children
- Stomach pain or upset
- Constipation, diarrhea or gas
While it is rare, there are patients who experience jaundice.
What is more, more serious side effects of Lipitor (Atorvastatin) may include:
- Poor memory, confusion
- Mood-related disorders
- Sleep disturbances
- Erectile dysfunction
- Breathing difficulty
This medication can cause abnormalities in blood test results. Remind your doctor that you are taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin) before and after you have blood tests.
Warnings and Precautions
If you experience tenderness, soreness, weakness or muscle pain while taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin), inform your doctor.
There are conditions that may put you at an increased risk of complications or lead to other problems while taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin). Therefore, it is important to tell your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- Breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
- Drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages regularly
- Excessive physical exercise
- Family history of muscular disorders
- Fusidic acid
- Kidney or liver problems
- Muscle problems (pain, tenderness) after using an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (“statin”) such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin or simvastatin
- Pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- Stroke or a mini-stroke (TIA)
- Take any other cholesterol- lowering medication such as fibrates (gemfibrozil, fenofibrate), niacin or ezetimibe
- Thyroid problems
- Undergone surgery or other tissue injury
It is possible for some patients to experience an increased blood sugar while taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin).
Lipitor (Atorvastatin) has not been studied in pre-pubertal patients.
Interactions with this Medication
There are a number of medications that may have an interaction with Lipitor (Atorvastatin). These drugs include:
- Lipid-modifying doses of niacin (nicotinic acid)
- Indinavir sulfate
- Nelfinavir mesylate
- Saquinavir mesylate
- Grapefruit juice
- Fusidic acid
- Fenofibrate or bezafibrate
- Erythromycin, clarithromycin or azole antifungal agents (ketoconazole or itraconazole)
- Corticosteroids (cortisone-like medicines)
- Antacids (frequent use) and l Lipitor (Atorvastatin) should be taken 2 hours apart
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.