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Drug Guide    A   Atorvastatin

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   Atorvastatin

Atorvastatin
Oral


Atorvastatin is an enzyme blocker (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor), also known as a "statin". It is used along with a proper diet to help lower cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in the blood. In general, this drug is prescribed after non-drug treatment options have not been fully successful at lowering cholesterol (e.g., diet change, increase in exercise, weight loss if overweight). Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides help prevent strokes and heart attacks.Atorvastatin is used in adults and children (10 years of age and older). Young girls must have had their first menstrual period before starting this medication.

 
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 Atorvastatin images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Atorvastatin

Uses
Atorvastatin is an enzyme blocker (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor), also known as a "statin". It is used along with a proper diet to help lower cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in the blood. In general, this drug is prescribed after non-drug treatment options have not been fully successful at lowering cholesterol (e.g., diet change, increase in exercise, weight loss if overweight). Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides help prevent strokes and heart attacks.Atorvastatin is used in adults and children (10 years of age and older). Young girls must have had their first menstrual period before starting this medication.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood cholesterol levels, liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.For best results, this medication should be used along with exercise, a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet, and a weight loss program if you are overweight.
  • Also to help reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes, check your blood pressure regularly, seek medical treatment if your blood pressure is high, and stop smoking.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Storage
  • Store at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 to 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


How To Use
  • Take this medication by mouth usually once daily with or without food, or as directed by your doctor.
  • This drug is best taken in the evening.Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.
  • Many of the drugs listed in the Drug Interactions section may increase the chances of muscle injury when used with atorvastatin.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while being treated with this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
  • Grapefruit juice can increase the amount of certain medications in your bloodstream.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take atorvastatin at least 2 hours after these medications.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day.
  • It may take up to 4 weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well.
  • Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.

Side Effects
  • Headache, diarrhea, stomach/abdominal pain, or joint pain may occur.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.This drug may infrequently cause muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (which can rarely lead to a very serious condition called rhabdomyolysis).
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you develop these muscle problems (especially with fever or unusual tiredness).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine, severe fatigue, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea, change in the amount of urine.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before taking atorvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other "statins"; or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: active liver disease.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease, history of liver disease, kidney disease, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), diabetes (poorly controlled), alcohol use.The rare development of severe muscle damage (see Side Effects) can infrequently lead to serious kidney problems.
  • This medication is usually temporarily stopped if you have any condition which can increase your risk of developing kidney problems.
  • Before stopping your medication, notify your doctor immediately if you have any of the following conditions: major surgery, trauma, serious illness (e.g., sepsis, severe metabolic/endocrine/electrolyte disorders), very low blood pressure, uncontrolled seizures.Limit alcoholic beverages.
  • Daily use of alcohol may increase your chance for serious side effects.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially muscle damage.This medication must not be used during pregnancy.
  • If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.
  • It is recommended that young girls and women of child-bearing age use effective birth control measures to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug since atorvastatin may cause harm to an unborn baby.This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant.
  • Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember.
  • If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.See also the How To Use section.This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal, interactions may occur: certain azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole), certain macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin), nefazodone, telithromycin.If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting atorvastatin.Use caution if the following drugs are combined with atorvastatin because serious side effects such as muscle injury (myopathy) infrequently could occur: fibrates (e.g., gemfibrozil, fenofibrate), high-dose niacin (1 gram or more per day).Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: birth control pills, cholestyramine, clopidogrel, colestipol, digoxin, HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, ritonavir), other drugs which affect certain liver enzymes (CYP 3A4 substrates, inhibitors, and inducers such as amiodarone, cyclosporine, diltiazem, verapamil, rifampin, St.
  • John's wort, carbamazepine).

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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