Lipitor is a trade name for the drug atorvastatin, an LDL cholesterol reducing medication commonly used to treat conditions such as type II diabetes and coronary heart disease. Lipitor is considered for both adult and pediatric use. Lipitor is available by physician prescription.
The active ingredient in Lipitor, atorvastatin, belongs to a group of drugs called statins, which are synthetic lipid lowering agents that target cholesterol. Atorvastatin works by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which is produced in the liver and plays a big role in how the body produces cholesterol.
The main purpose of atorvastatin is dyslipidemia, reducing the amount of lipids in the form of fat or cholesterol present in the blood. Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (“bad cholesterol”) puts individuals at risk for stroke, type II diabetes, heart attack and other complications of the heart.
Lipitor is prescribed primarily to prevent cardiovascular disease and to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in heart and diabetic patients. Lipitor is also prescribed for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease. The intention is to enable revascularization, the restoration of the shape of blood vessels getting clogged by cholesterol.
Lipitor may be prescribed along with other cholesterol lowering drugs such as ezetimibe and bile acid sequestrants.
Lipitor tablets are available in 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg doses.
Lipitor tablets may contain the following inactive ingredients, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, calcium carbonate, candelilla wax, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose monohydrate, talc, croscarmellose sodium, simethicone emulsion, polysorbate 80, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide and hypromellose.
Dosage of Lipitor will vary as per physician recommendation, age, severity of the condition and response to the treatment. The dosage prescribed by a physician should be followed exactly.
Initial dosage may vary from 10 mg to 80 mg. Doses are adjusted at 2 to 4 week intervals.
Lipitor tablets should be swallowed once a day. Lipitor can be administered any time of the day with or without meals. It’s highly recommended to take Lipitor the same time each day.
Lipitor dosage should be followed regularly for the drug to be effective.
It may take up to a month for Lipitor’s effectiveness to be noticeable.
Precautions and Warnings
Do not take Lipitor if allergic to atorvastatin or any one of the inactive ingredients in the drug.
Lipitor may not be safe for use if pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting to get pregnant. Consult a doctor before taking Lipitor.
Patients with a history of liver disease, kidney disease and prolonged alcohol use should consult a doctor regarding safety of Lipitor use.
Lipitor may have adverse reactions with certain other cholesterol lowering drugs such as tipranavir, telaprevir, gemfibrozil and ritonavir.
Lipitor and atorvastatin could potentially cause one or more of the following side effects:
Joint and limb pain
Muscle problems such as pain or tenderness. Sometimes the problems can worsen and lead to serious conditions such as autoimmune myopathy and rhabdomyolysis.
Side effects are not limited to the above.
Immediately consult a physician if side effects continue to persist or worsen over time.