Drug Class: What is Atorvastatin and why Atorvastatin is prescribed?
Atorvastatin Mechanism: How does Atorvastatin work?
Atorvastatin Dosage: How should you take Atorvastatin?
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Atorvastatin
Special information on Atorvastatin
Atorvastatin side effects
|Drug Class: What is Atorvastatin and why Atorvastatin is prescribed?|
|Atorvastatin is an oral drug that lowers the level of cholesterol
in the blood. Atorvastatin belongs to a class of drugs referred to as statins, which
includes Lovastatin (Mevacor), Simvastatin, (Zocor), Fluvastatin (Lescol), and
Atorvastatin, works by helping to clear harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol out of the blood and by limiting the bodys ability to form new LDL cholesterol.
Your doctor may prescribe Atorvastatin, along with a special diet if your blood cholesterol or triglyceride level is high enough to put you in danger of heart disease, and you have been unable to lower your readings by diet alone.
For people at high risk of heart disease, the doctor may suggest a cholesterol-lowering medication if LDL readings are 130 or more. For those at low risk, a medication is considered at readings of 190 or more.
|Atorvastatin Mechanism: How does Atorvastatin work?|
|Accumulation of cholesterol and fats along the walls of arteries (a process known
as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and, therefore, the oxygen supply to
the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. Lowering the blood level of cholesterol and fats may help to prevent heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and
Like all statins, Atorvastatin blocks an enzyme in the liver called HMG-CoA Reductase, an enzyme that is necessary to make cholesterol.
When Atorvastatin blocks this enzyme, less cholesterol is made, and the liver is more sensitive to remove cholesterol from the blood thus lowering total blood cholesterol levels as well as LDL cholesterol levels. (LDL cholesterol is believed to be the \"bad\" cholesterol that is primarily responsible for the development of coronary artery disease.) Lowering LDL cholesterol levels retards progression and may even reverse coronary artery disease.
Unlike the other drugs in this class, Atorvastatin also can reduce the concentration of triglycerides in the blood. High blood concentrations of triglycerides also have been associated with coronary artery disease.
Atorvastatin was approved by the FDA in December of 1996.
|Atorvastatin Dosage: How should you take Atorvastatin?|
| Atorvastatin should be taken once a day, with or without food. You can take
Atorvastatin in the morning or the evening, but should hold to the same time
each day. Atorvastatin generally begins working within 2 weeks.
For an even greater cholesterol-lowering effect, your doctor may prescribe Atorvastatin along with a different kind of lipid-lowering drug such as Questran or Colestid. It is important to avoid taking the two drugs at the same time of day. Take Atorvastatin at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after the other drug.
You need to follow a standard cholesterol-lowering diet before starting Atorvastatin, and should continue following it throughout your therapy.
Atorvastatin dosage for adults: The recommended starting Atorvastatin dose is 10 or 20 milligrams once a day. (The doctor may start with 40 milligrams daily if your LDL levels need to be reduced by more than 45 percent.). The doctor will check your cholesterol levels every 2 to 4 weeks and adjust the dose accordingly. The maximum recommended daily Atorvastatin dose is 80 milligrams.
Atorvastatin dosage for children: Use in children is rare. Atorvastatin has never been prescribed for children under 9 years of age.
Atorvastatin Overdose: Although no specific information about Atorvastatin overdose is available, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Atorvastatin, seek medical attention.
If you miss a dose of Atorvastatin: Take the forgotten Atorvastatin dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next Atorvastatin dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 Atorvastatin doses at the same time.
Storage instructions for Atorvastatin: Store Atorvastatin at room temperature.
Preparations of Atorvastatin: Tablets available Atorvastatin 10 mg, Atorvastatin 20 mg, Atorvastatin 40 mg, Atorvastatin 80 mg
|Possible food and drug interactions when taking Atorvastatin|
| If you take Atorvastatin with certain other drugs, the effects of either could
be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with
your doctor before combining Atorvastatin with any of the following:
Antacids such as Maalox TC Suspension, Colestipol (Colestid), Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral), Digoxin (Lanoxin), Erythromycin (E.E.S., Erythrocin, others), Fluconazole (Diflucan), Gemfibrozil (Lopid), Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), Niacin (Niaspan, Niacor, Slo-Niacin), Oral contraceptives.
|Special information on Atorvastatin|
|Special information on Atorvastatin, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Developing
babies need plenty of cholesterol, so this cholesterol-lowering drug should never
be used during pregnancy. In fact, your doctor is unlikely to prescribe Atorvastatin
if there is even a chance that you may become pregnant. If you do conceive while
taking Atorvastatin, notify your doctor right away.
Atorvastatin does make its way into breast milk, so you should not take Atorvastatin while breastfeeding your baby.
|Atorvastatin side effects|
|Side effects of Atorvastatin cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change
in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine
if it is safe for you to continue taking Atorvastatin. The side effects of
Atorvastatin, if any develop are usually mild.
Side effects of Atorvastatin: May include abdominal pain, abnormal heartbeat, accidental injury, acne, allergic reaction, amnesia, back pain, black stools, bleeding, breast enlargement, changes in eyesight, changes in taste sensation, chest pain, constipation, decreased sex drive, depression, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, distorted facial muscles, dizziness, dry eyes, fatigue, fever, flu symptoms, fluid retention, gas, hair loss, headache, hearing difficulties, heartburn, increased muscle movement, increased sensations, indigestion, inflammation of sinus and nasal passages, insomnia, itching, joint pain, lack of coordination, leg cramps, muscle aching or weakness, purple or red spots on the skin, rash, respiratory problems, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, skin irritations, sore throat, strange dreams, sweating, tingling of extremities, unstable emotions, urinary problems, vomiting, weakness, weight gain, weight loss.
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