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Terms Of Use

ATORVASTATIN

Brand Name(s) : Lipitor
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

ATORVASTATIN WARNINGS

Atorvastatin should be used with caution in: the elderly (those over 70 years of age), patients who have previously had liver disease or who regularly drink alcohol to excess, those who have previously had any type of stroke, patients with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), kidney problems, and those who have or have ever had any muscle pain or cramps, or if the patient or a close family member has an inherited (genetic or hereditary) muscle disorder, and patients with acute porphyria (a blood disease).

It should not be used in: patients with current liver problems, women who are pregnant, likely to become pregnant (women of child-bearing age not using contraception), or who are breastfeedingchildren.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Store at room temperature.

ATORVASTATIN USES

Atorvastatin is used to treat a number of problems.

It is a member of a class of drugs called hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, usually known as statins.

In general, this drug is used to modify levels of blood lipids (lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides).

Benefits of being on this drug include reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease events (e.g. heart attacks or stroke).

Listed below are the typical uses of atorvastatin:

  • Treating abnormal blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels (hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia) in conjunction with diet
  • Treating patients with heart or blood-vessel disease and/or diabetes, with normal or high cholesterol levels to prevent further cardiovascular events (e.g. heart attacks or stroke).
  • Preventing cardiovascular disease events in people who are at increased risk

However on occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on this list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • This medication is available as a tablet, which should be taken orally, usually as a single dose every day, with or without food. Chewable tablets can be chewed or swallowed whole with a drink of water.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • This medication can be taken at any time of day. However, it is best to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take 2 weeks before you notice any benefits of this drug.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid drinking grapefruit juice and keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

ATORVASTATIN SIDE EFFECTS

Commonly:

Less commonly:

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain (caused by an inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Weight gain
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Unexpected bleeding or bruising.

Rarely:

  • Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Fluid accumulated beneath the skin, such as ankle swelling (oedema)
  • Tenderness of the muscles or muscle cramps
  • Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).

Very rarely:

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (severe blistering of the skin, mouth, eyes and private parts)
  • Patchy red rash
  • Serious muscle pain and weakness (rhabdomyolysis), sometimes with fever
  • Deafness
  • Liver failure
  • Disturbances in vision
  • Taste disturbances (changes in sense of taste)
  • Breast enlargement (in men).

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: muscle aches and pains, tenderness, weakness or cramps; or if you have unusual and unexpected bleeding or bruising.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

ATORVASTATIN PRECAUTIONS

Before taking atorvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other statins; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: any liver, if you drink substantial quantities of alcohol, or if you have muscle pains, cramps, or muscle tenderness or weakness.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any previous liver or kidney problems, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), any previous unexplained muscle pains, cramps or muscle tenderness or weakness, you or you have a close family member who has had a hereditary (genetic) muscle disorder or muscle problems with statins or other lipid-modifying drugs, acute porphyria

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Yes. Keep alcohol intake to a minimum whilst taking atorvastatin.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below.

PREGNANCY

Atorvastatin is not safe to take during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Atorvastatin is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

ATORVASTATIN INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting atorvastatin.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • Blood-thinning drugs (e.g. warfarin)
  • Immunosuppressants (ciclosporin)
  • Calcium channel blockers (e.g. diltiazem), used for treating high blood pressure
  • Antibiotics (e.g. rifampicin)
  • Antivirals (e.g. atazanavir and nelfinavir)
  • Other lipid-modifying agents (e.g. fibrates [such as gemfibrozil]; nicotinic acid and ezetimibe)
  • Antidepressants (St John's wort)
  • Anti-arrhythmia drugs (to control heartbeat rhythm problems) (e.g. verapamil, diltiazem and digoxin)
  • Contraceptives (e.g. those containing norethisterone and ethinyl oestradiol).

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using atorvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

ATORVASTATIN OVERDOSE

No specific symptoms reported.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of atorvastatin or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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