Lipitor - Side Effects
This article is not intended to be of a diagnostic nature. The following article is only for educational or informative purposes. Consult your doctor before taking this medication or making any changes to drug dosage.
Lipitor is among one of the world's largest selling drugs with sales crossing over $ 7.7 billion last year. A recent study revealed that more than 1 in 5 adults in the United States has high cholesterol. High cholesterol is can lead to hear attack and stroke, About 80% of people who have had a heart attack have high cholesterol. Another reason for the increased sales medicine is because of the aggressive advertising by pfizer. Interestingly the patentcy of this medicine expired in November 2011.
This medication manufactured by Pfizer helps lowers LDLs or "bad cholesterol" thus reducing the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
LDL and HDL
LDL'S or Low Density Lipoproteins are "bad cholesterol" that collects in he walls of the blood vessels and cause blockage, Higher LDL level puts you at higher risk of a stroke or heart attack. HDL or High-density lipoprotein are "good cholesterol" that are essential for the body. Lipitor Helps lower the LDL level and increase HDL levels.
The active ingredient is atorvastatin calcium. It is recommended to be used only after other measures such as diet, exercise, and weight reduction have not improved cholesterol levels. Lipitor should not be taken as a preventive medication use only if Cholesterol levels are higher than normal.
Who Shouldn't Take Lipitor
Do not take this medicine if
- You are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- You are breast feeding
- You are suffering from kidney or liver impairments
- You take alcohol regularly
- You have diabetes
- You are 70 years old or above.
Do not start taking Lipitor without consulting your doctor, this medicine is for treating high cholesterol in blood and should not be taken as a preventive medication for high cholesterol.
Starting dose is usually 10-20 mg per day. Atorvastatin is usually prescribed once daily but patients who need to lower more than a 35% reduction in LDL be given higher starting doses. Atorvastatin can be taken with or without food preferably in the evening.
Avoid eating grapes or drinking grape juice while using this medication. Grapes can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking atorvastatin calcium as this may increase risk of liver failure(alcohol may react with atorvastatin)
Lipitor may interact with the following drugs
- Warfarin or other blood thinning drugs
- Birth control pills
- Grape juice
- Antacid medications
Side Effects And Allergic Reactions
- Itching or rashes on the skin
- Swelling of tongue and face
- Tiredness or Dizziness
Possible Side Effects
- Muscle Spasms
- Unexplained bruising on the skin
- Throat pain
Consult your doctor if the side effects persist.
This medication should not be taken by pregnant women or if you are trying to get pregnant. The contents of this medication may harm your unborn baby. Do not take birth control pills while taking atorvastatin without prescription from a doctor.
Do not take Lipitor if you are breast feeding, atorvastatin in the medication may get transferred to breast milk and harm the baby.