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Medicine Informations

 

Active Ingredients

[Atorvastatin]

Atorvastatin

 What is Atorvastatin?

Its the active ingredient in many brands you may know such as  Lipitor, Trovas, Lorstat and Atorvastatin Pfizer.

What is Atorvastatin used for? 

To lower cholesterol levels if you have high cholesterol. If you have coronary heart disease or high risk of heart attack or stroke then taking Atorvastatin will help lower your risk of death or stroke.

The normal range for LDL-cholesterol is less than 2.5mmol/L and total cholesterol <4 mmol/L. Your blood test will show you what your LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol is. 

How can you take it?

Its available in tablets of different strengths as 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80mg.

Its normally taken as 1 tablet a day of any strength your doctor put you on. Its best to take it at night with glass of water.

Who should not be taking Atorvastatin?

- allergic to Atorvastatin

- liver disease

- pregnant or trying to become pregnant because it can affect your baby.

- breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. 

- drink alcohol regularly

- history of stroke

- muscle pain or weakness from other medicines you tried before for treating your cholesterol levels or triglycerides.

Can women who is pregnant or breastfeeding take Atorvastatin? No

Can I take Atorvastatin if I'm taking other medicines?

Some medicines can affect or be affected by Atorvastatin:

Digoxin (brand name: Sigmaxin, Lanoxin) to treat some heart problems

Erythromycin (brand name: Eryc, E-Mycin, EES), Clarithyromycin (brand name: Clarihexal, Klacid) and Rifampicin (brand name: Rimycin) which is used as antibiotics to treat infections.

Phenytoin (brand name: Dilantin) used to treat epilepsy.

oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy

- other medicines used to treat high cholesterol or triglycerides

cyclosporin used to suppress the immune system

- some medicines used to treat fungal infections such as ketoconazole (brand name: Nizoral) and itraconazole(brand name: Sporanox)

efavirenz and protease inhibitors used to treat HIV infections

Diltiazem (brand name: Cardizem, Vasocardol) used to treat angina.

 

Are there any side effects from taking Atorvastatin?

Most people can tolerate Atorvastatin well but some side effects can happen in some people.

Most common side effects include constipation, diarrhea, feeling unusally tired or weak, stomach pain, nausea, headache and having trouble sleeping. They are mild and only last short time. 

But if you experience unexpected muscle pain or aches or weakness not from exercise, tingling on hands or feet, stiffness or weakness for long time then stop taking it and see your doctor. These are serious side effects but not very common.

However if you experience an allergy reaction to atorvastatin like having trouble breathing, rash and itching on skin, swelling of your face or lips or tongue or on other parts of your body then you must see the doctor or go to the hospital straightaway as they ar serious side effects but they are rare.

Sometimes other people experience side effects not mentioned.

Other things you need to know:

If you like to eat grapefruit or drink large amounts of grapefruit juice then avoid them if you can as they can increase the chance of getting side effects from Atorvastatin.

You also must avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol as it can increase your chance of getting liver problems from Atorvastatin.

It can cause dizziness in some people but not always. 

If you forget to take your medicine then don't double dose but just take it as soon as you can remember. 

You need to have your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked regularly by your doctor to see if Atorvastatin is working.

Do not give your medicine to anyone else even if htey have same condition as you. Do not stop or lower your dose of Atorvastatin if you are feeling better without talking to your doctor first.

You need to change your lifestyle to help reduce your risk from heart disease such as:

1) stopping smoking

2) cut down on drinking alcohol

3) eat healthily by eating more fruits and vegetables and eating less unhealthy fatty foods such as eating less fatty meats and less full cream dairy products, butter, coconut and palm oils, most takeaway foods

4) exercise more often by starting with 30 minutes of walking or other exercises on 5 or more days a week and increasing by 10 minutes each week

5) keep your weight in the healthy weight range

6) know the warning signs of heart attack and what to do

         : feeling of tightness, pressure, heaviness or pain in your chest, neck, jaw, throat, shoulders, arms or back

         : having trouble breathing or a cold sweat or feeling dizzy or light headed or feeling like vomiting or start to vomit. 

         : If you experience the signs of heart attack that are getting worse or are mild and last for 10 minutes call an ambulance. 

 

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