Your Guide To Lipitor (Atorvastatin)
Do you have high cholesterol and want to take Lipitor (atorvastatin)? Here is some very useful information for you!
Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, cholesterol medications, Atorvastatin.
Lipitor, also called atorvastatin, is a drug prescribed to lower high cholesterol levels. The drug belongs to the statin class of drugs. It is commonly used to treat elevated levels of total cholesterol, Apo lipoprotein B, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol in people who have been diagnosed with mixed dyslipidemia. In addition, Lipitor is used to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack in patients with cardiovascular disease.
It is worth mentioning here that this cholesterol drug is touted as one of the most effective statin drugs on the market. In fact, studies have shown that taking 10 mg of Lipitor daily can help achieve the following goals
- Lower LDL cholesterol levels by about 29%.
- Lowering total cholesterol levels by an average of 36%.
- Lower triglyceride levels by an average of 19%.
- Increase HDL cholesterol levels by approximately 6%.
Similarly, recent studies have shown that taking Lipitor can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 37%.
How does Lipitor (atorvastatin) work?
This cholesterol-lowering drug works by interfering with your 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase enzyme. This enzyme in the body is extremely important for the production of cholesterol in the liver. Therefore, when Lipitor binds to this enzyme, the amount of cholesterol produced in the body is actually reduced.
How do I take Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe Lipitor to you. However, unlike Welchor, Lipitor is only available in tablet form. Therefore, using this medication is not an option in powder form, especially if you are someone who has difficulty swallowing.
Keep in mind that while available doses range from 10 to 80 mg, the dose level you are prescribed will depend on your doctor. For example, your doctor may start with a lower dose and then slowly increase the dose. However, whether or not you increase the dose will depend on your LDL level.
In addition, this medication must be combined with a low cholesterol and low triglyceride diet for maximum effect. You should also attend all your doctor’s appointments regularly, as you will need to monitor your lipid levels.
Who should avoid taking Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Although Lipitor can help lower your cholesterol and blood lipid levels, certain medical conditions may prevent you from taking this medication. Therefore, if you have any of these conditions, your doctor may recommend an alternative treatment option to lower your cholesterol and lipid levels.
Therefore, these medical conditions include
- Allergic reactions: Although Lipitor is an effective medication for lowering high cholesterol levels, it is important to remember that not all medications are suitable for everyone. Therefore, if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Lipitor or any of its ingredients, it is best to avoid this medication altogether.
- Liver complications: Do not take Lipitor if you have active liver disease or high liver enzyme levels. Studies have shown that Lipitor can raise liver enzyme levels.
- Pregnancy: Studies have shown that taking Lipitor during pregnancy can cause the drug to cross the placental barrier. In fact, Lipitor is known to cause fetal malformations. Therefore, if you are planning to have a baby or are already pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
- Feeding: If you are currently breastfeeding your baby, it is best to inform your doctor. Studies have shown that Lipitor is easily passed from the blood to breast milk.
What do I need to monitor while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
If you have recently been prescribed Lipitor, your doctor may need to keep an eye on you. This is especially true if you have any medical problems that may become worse after taking Lipitor. Therefore, if you have any of the following medical conditions, your doctor will need to decide whether to reduce your dose or prescribe another cholesterol medication.
Therefore, these medical conditions include
- Elevated liver enzymes: Studies have shown that taking Lipitor can increase liver enzymes, commonly known as lanine transaminase (ALT) and aminotransferase (AST). Therefore, if your liver enzymes are already elevated, your doctor will need to monitor you closely to ensure that these levels do not increase the risk.
- Elevated blood sugar levels: Recent studies on the effects of Lipitor have shown that Lipitor may increase your fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin levels. Therefore, if you have diabetes, your doctor will need to adjust your dose accordingly.
What are the side effects of taking Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Some of the most common side effects of taking Lipitor include nausea, muscle pain, high liver enzymes, and diarrhea. Therefore, if you experience any of these side effects, you should tell your doctor immediately.
It is worth mentioning here that taking Lipitor may also cause rhabdomyolysis. Although it is an uncommon side effect, rhabdomyolysis may cause severe muscle soreness, as well as colored urine. However, keep in mind that the risk of developing rhabdomyolysis increases with age and with different conditions. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, tell your doctor as soon as possible.
What drugs may interact with Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Some medicines and natural supplements may react negatively with Lipitor, increasing the intensity of side effects. Therefore, if you are taking any of the substances listed below, there is a risk that they may interact with Lipitor.
- Medications that lower cholesterol, including fiber or niacin.
- Anything that has alcohol in it.
- Juice containing grapefruit extract.
- Oral contraceptives.
Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. Therefore, it is a good idea to tell your doctor about any herbal or over-the-counter medications you are taking. This will let your doctor know if he or she needs to adjust your dose or prescribe another cholesterol-lowering medication.
Studies have confirmed that Lipitor is one of the most effective medications for lowering high cholesterol and blood lipid levels. However, because of its ability to interact with other medications and aggravate certain health problems, it is always a good idea to tell your doctor about any harmful side effects as soon as possible.