"Nov. 29, 2011 -- The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor -- the best-selling prescription drug in world history -- will be available as a generic drug beginning Nov. 30.
Lipitor's generic name is atorvastatin. Two generic drugmakers, Ra"...
Lipitor Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
- What are the possible side effects of atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
- What is the most important information I should know about atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
- How should I take atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Lipitor)?
- What happens if I overdose (Lipitor)?
- What should I avoid while taking atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
- What other drugs will affect atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
You should not take atorvastatin if you are allergic to it, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease.
To make sure you can safely take atorvastatin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- history of liver disease;
- history of kidney disease;
- muscle pain or weakness;
- a thyroid disorder; or
- if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily.
In rare cases, atorvastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use. Certain other drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems, and it is very important that your doctor knows if you are using any of them:
- diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Dilacor, Diltia, Diltzac, Taztia, Tiazac);
- gemfibrozil (Lopid), fenofibric acid (Fibricor, Trilipix), or fenofibrate (Antara, Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide);
- telaprevir (Incivek);
- antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) or erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole);
- antifungal medicines such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend);
- HIV medications such as darunavir (Prexista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), ritonavir (Norvir), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), or tipranavir (Aptivus);
- medicines that contain niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others); or
- drugs that weaken your immune system, such as steroids, cancer medicine, or medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf).
FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not take atorvastatin if you are pregnant.Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy while you are taking atorvastatin.
Atorvastatin may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while you are taking atorvastatin.
How should I take atorvastatin (Lipitor)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not break an atorvastatin tablet unless your doctor has told you.
Atorvastatin is usually taken once a day, with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
You may need to stop using atorvastatin for a short time if you have:
- uncontrolled seizures;
- an electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low potassium levels in your blood);
- severely low blood pressure;
- a severe infection or illness; or
- surgery or a medical emergency.
To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
Atorvastatin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. You may need to take atorvastatin on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Additional Lipitor Information
- Lipitor Drug Interactions Center: atorvastatin oral
- Lipitor Side Effects Center
- Lipitor Overview including Precautions
- Lipitor FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
Lipitor - User Reviews
Lipitor User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tips to keep it under control.