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Lipitor - Side Effects

Updated on June 4, 2013

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
Lipitor | Source

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.

Contents

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.

Dosage

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.

Interactions

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

  • Colchicine
  • Warfarin or other blood thinning drugs
  • Birth control pills
  • Grape juice
  • Cyclosporine
  • Antacid medications
  • Digoxin
  • Antacids
  • Gemfibrozil

Side Effects And Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reaction

  • Itching or rashes on the skin
  • Swelling of tongue and face
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness or Dizziness
  • Wheezing

Possible Side Effects

  • Muscle Spasms
  • Unexplained bruising on the skin
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
  • Rash
  • Throat pain

Consult your doctor if the side effects persist.

During Pregnancy

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.


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    • Mrabbros profile image
      Author

      Mrabbros 5 years ago

      Hi Georgie Lowery

      Sometimes people don't clearly understand the adverse effects some drugs can have on them.

      Thank you so much for reading my hub.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 5 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      Very useful information. Too many people just blindly take what their doctors give them.