Atorvastatin oral tablet is a prescription medication used to improve cholesterol levels in people with varying types of cholesterol problems. Atorvastatin also decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke. It is used together with diet, weight loss, and exercise.
Atorvastatin helps in preventing the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Clogged arteries can block the blood flow to your heart and brain. This medication may be used as part of a combination therapy, meaning that you have to take Atorvastatin with other medications, such as bile acid resins and other cholesterol-lowering medications.
Atorvastatin belongs to the group of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or simply referred to as statins. These drugs are used most of the time to treat similar conditions.
Atorvastatin works by lowering your low-density lipoprotein or LDL, also referred to as the bad cholesterol and raising your good cholesterol – the high-density lipoprotein or HDL. Atorvastatin improves your body’s ability to get rid of your LDL cholesterol through your liver.
The benefits of using Atorvastatin include the lowering of your low-density lipoprotein, popularly known as the bad cholesterol. In addition to lowering the bad cholesterol. Atorvastatin raises the level of your high density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. The overall benefit of using Atorvastatin is the improvement of your body’s ability to get rid of your bad cholesterol through your liver.
Atorvastatin comes as a tablet, which should be taken by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without a meal. Take your Atorvastatin tablet at about the same time each day in order to help you remember to take the scheduled dose.
Take Atorvastatin as directed by your doctor. He may start you on the lowest dose of Atorvastatin and gradually increase the dose as you get used to the medication. The increase of the dose should not be done more than once every 2 or 4 weeks.
Continue taking Atorvastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor.
If you miss your dose of Atorvastatin, take it as soon as you remember. Skip the dose when you remember it very close to your next regular dose.
Atorvastatin is usually taken one tablet each day. Your doctor will recommend the dose of the Atorvastatin tablet depending on your medical condition and your response to it.
The usual starting dose for adults is 10 – 20 mg per day, and the maximum dose is 80 mg per day. Pediatric patients should receive 10 mg once a day up to a maximum dose of 20 mg daily.
Medicines and their possible side effects affect individual user differently. Not everyone who uses Atorvastatin will experience the possible side effects.
The minor side effects of Atorvastatin include the following:
The commonly reported side effects of Atorvastatin include the following:
Atorvastatin may cause liver and muscle damage. The serious liver damage caused by statins is rare. Liver tests should be performed at the beginning of the treatment and as needed later.
Inflammation of the muscles due to the use of statins may lead to a serious breakdown of muscle cells called rhabdomyolysis. It causes the release of muscle protein into the blood, which may cause kidney failure and even death. When used alone, the use of statins can cause rhabdomyolysis in less than one percent of the patients. Rhabdomyolysis can be prevented from getting serious by contacting their doctor immediately if they develop unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or muscle tenderness.
Statins have been associated with an increase in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels of diabetic patients.
Post-marketing reports for the adverse effects of Atorvastatin include the following:
These symptoms may begin to manifest starting day one to years after starting the Atorvastatin treatment and resolve within a median of three weeks after stopping the statin.
Before you start taking Atorvastatin, any other medication, or any of the ingredients in Atorvastatin tablet.
Inform your doctor if you have liver disease. Your doctor will require some lab tests to see how well your liver is working even if you do not believe that you have liver disease. Your doctor will tell you to not take Atorvastatin if you have or have had liver disease or if test results will show that you are developing liver disease.
Inform your doctor if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily. If you are over 65 years of age or older, if you have or have had liver disease, and if you have or have had ever muscle aches or weakness, diabetes, low blood pressure, seizures, thyroid or kidney disease.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your health professional that you are taking atorvastatin. If you are hospitalized due to a serious injury or infection, inform your attending doctor that you are taking Atorvastatin.
Alcohol intake can increase the risk of serious side effects of Atorvastatin.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. You should not get pregnant while you are taking Atorvastatin. Ask your doctor about the birth control methods that you can use during your treatment. If you become pregnant while taking Atorvastatin, stop taking the medication and call your doctor immediately. Atorvastatin is known to harm the fetus.
Do not breastfeed while taking Atorvastatin.
Atorvastatin oral tablets may interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the medication from working well.
Before you take Atorvastatin, share with your doctor a list of all the medications you are currently taking. Find out from your doctor how Atorvastatin may interact with the other drugs that you are taking.
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