Drugs A - Z

Atorvastatin Calcium Oral tablet

It lowers the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood

Generic Name: atorvastatin  |  Brand Name: Lipitor

Brand Names: Lipitor

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

What is this medicine?

ATORVASTATIN (a TORE va sta tin) is known as a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or 'statin'. It lowers the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. This drug may also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other health problems in patients with risk factors for heart disease. Diet and lifestyle changes are often used with this drug.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • frequently drink alcoholic beverages
  • history of stroke, TIA
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • muscle aches or weakness
  • other medical condition
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to atorvastatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medicine with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 10 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • red yeast rice
  • telaprevir
  • telithromycin
  • voriconazole

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
  • boceprevir
  • certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin
  • certain medicines for cholesterol like fenofibrate or gemfibrozil
  • cimetidine
  • clarithromycin
  • colchicine
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
  • grapefruit juice
  • medicines for fungal infections like fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole
  • niacin
  • rifampin
  • spironolactone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check-ups. You may need regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.

Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you get any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever and tiredness. Your doctor or health care professional may tell you to stop taking this medicine if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medicine, contact your health care professional.

This drug is only part of a total heart-health program. Your doctor or a dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to help. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.

Do not use this drug if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Serious side effects to an unborn child or to an infant are possible. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

If you are going to have surgery tell your health care professional that you are taking this drug.


Last Updated: November 06, 2012
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