1. What’s atorvastatin
Atorvastatin belongs to a gaggle of medicines known as statins.
It is used to decrease ldl cholesterol if you happen to’ve been identified with excessive blood ldl cholesterol. It is also taken to stop coronary heart illness, together with coronary heart assaults and strokes. Your physician might prescribe atorvastatin when you’ve got a household historical past of coronary heart illness, or a long-term well being situation corresponding to kind 1 or kind 2 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
This medication is accessible on prescription solely. It comes as tablets, together with chewable tablets for individuals who have problem swallowing.
2. Key info
- It is regular to take atorvastatin as soon as a day.
- The most typical unwanted side effects are complications, feeling sick (nausea), diarrhoea and cold-like signs.
- Don’t take atorvastatin if you happen to’re pregnant, making an attempt to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Hold taking atorvastatin even if you happen to really feel effectively, as you’ll nonetheless be getting the advantages. Most individuals with excessive ldl cholesterol haven’t any signs.
- Atorvastatin can also be known as by the model title Lipitor.
3. Who can and can’t take atorvastatin
Atorvastatin will be taken by adults and kids over the age of 10 years.
Atorvastatin is not appropriate for some individuals. Inform your physician if you happen to:
- have had an allergic response to atorvastatin or another medicines prior to now
- have liver or kidney issues
- are attempting to get pregnant, assume you is perhaps pregnant, you are already pregnant, otherwise you’re breastfeeding
- have extreme lung illness
- have beforehand had a stroke brought on by bleeding into the mind
- drink giant quantities of alcohol
- have an underactive thyroid
- have had muscular unwanted side effects when taking a statin prior to now
- have had, or have, a muscle dysfunction (together with fibromyalgia)
Lipitor chewable tablets comprise a substance known as aspartame – test along with your physician earlier than taking these when you’ve got phenylketonuria (a uncommon inherited dysfunction of protein metabolism).
4. How and when to take it
Take atorvastatin as soon as a day. You possibly can select to take it at any time, so long as you persist with the identical time daily.
Typically docs might suggest taking it within the night. It’s because your physique makes most ldl cholesterol at night time. For those who’re undecided when to take your medication, ask a pharmacist or your physician for recommendation.
Atorvastatin would not upset the abdomen, so you possibly can take it with or with out meals.
Swallow atorvastatin tablets complete with a glass of water. For those who’ve been given chewable tablets, you possibly can chew them or swallow them complete with a glass of water.
The standard dose for adults is between 10mg and 80mg a day.
In youngsters, the same old dose is 10mg to 20mg as soon as a day. Your physician will use your kid’s age to work out the quantity of atorvastatin that is proper for them.
Your dose is determined by the rationale for taking it, your levels of cholesterol, and what different medicines you take. Ask your physician or pharmacist for recommendation if you happen to’re not sure how a lot to take. Do not scale back your dose with out speaking to your physician first.
What if I neglect to take it?
For those who often neglect to take a dose, take your subsequent dose the subsequent day on the regular time. By no means take 2 doses on the identical time. By no means take further doses.
For those who usually neglect doses, it could assist to set an alarm to remind you. You may additionally ask your pharmacist for recommendation on different methods that will help you bear in mind to take your medication.
What if I take an excessive amount of?
Taking an additional dose of atorvastatin accidentally is unlikely to hurt you. Speak to your pharmacist or physician if you happen to’re fearful or take greater than 1 further dose.
5. Negative effects
Like all medicines, atorvastatin may cause unwanted side effects in some individuals – and totally different statins have an effect on individuals in numerous methods.
One uncommon however critical facet impact is unexplained muscle aches and pains, tenderness or weak point. This may occur a couple of weeks or months after you first begin taking this medication.
Speak to your physician or a pharmacist if unwanted side effects are bothering you. They might suggest making an attempt another statin.
Widespread unwanted side effects
These widespread unwanted side effects of atorvastatin occur in additional than 1 in 100 individuals. Some unwanted side effects might enhance after the primary few days, as your physique will get used to the medication.
Hold taking the medication, however speak to your physician or pharmacist if these unwanted side effects hassle you or do not go away:
- feeling sick (nausea) or indigestion
- aches and pains in your again and joints
- sore throat
- cold-like signs, corresponding to a runny nostril, blocked nostril or sneezing
- constipation or wind
Report any unexplained muscle aches and pains, tenderness or weak point to a health care provider right away.
Lower than 1 in 100 individuals might have some reminiscence loss. Speak to your physician or pharmacist if this facet impact bothers you. It often goes away after you cease taking the medication.
Critical unwanted side effects
Critical unwanted side effects when taking atorvastatin are uncommon and occur in lower than 1 in 1,000 individuals.
Cease taking atorvastatin and name a health care provider if you happen to get:
- muscle ache, tenderness, weak point or cramps – these will be indicators of muscle breakdown and kidney injury
- yellow pores and skin or the whites of your eyes flip yellow, or when you’ve got pale poo and darkish pee – this could be a signal of liver issues
- a pores and skin rash with pink-red blotches, particularly on the palms of the palms or soles of the toes
- extreme abdomen ache – this could be a signal of pancreas issues
- a cough, feeling in need of breath, and weight reduction – this could be a signal of lung illness
Critical allergic response
In uncommon circumstances, it is potential to have a critical allergic response (anaphylaxis) to atorvastatin.
Speedy motion required:
- you get a pores and skin rash that will embrace itchy, pink, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
- you are wheezing
- you get tightness within the chest or throat
- you might have hassle respiration or speaking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat begin swelling
You may be having a critical allergic response and might have speedy remedy in hospital.
These aren’t all of the unwanted side effects of atorvastatin. For a full listing see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
6. How to deal with unwanted side effects
What to do What’s:
- feeling sick (nausea) or indigestion – persist with easy meals and don’t eat wealthy or spicy meals. It’d assist to take your atorvastatin after a meal or snack. For those who proceed to get signs of indigestion ask your pharmacist to suggest an antacid. Contact your physician in case your signs proceed for quite a lot of days or in the event that they worsen.
- complications – ensure you relaxation and drink loads of fluids. Don’t drink an excessive amount of alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a painkiller. Complications ought to often go away after the primary week of taking atorvastatin. Speak to your physician in the event that they last more than per week or are extreme.
- aches and pains in your again and joints – if you happen to get uncommon muscle ache, weak point or tiredness which is not from train or exhausting work, speak to your physician. Chances are you’ll want a blood take a look at to test what is perhaps inflicting it. You may also ask your pharmacist to suggest a painkiller.
- nosebleeds – attempt making use of a skinny layer of Vaseline to the within edges of your nostril.
- sore throat – attempt gargling with heat salty water (youngsters should not do that), or use paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease any ache or discomfort. If the signs last more than per week ask your pharmacist or physician for recommendation.
- cold-like signs – attempt taking paracetamol or ibuprofen frequently for a couple of days. If the signs return whenever you cease taking the painkillers ask your physician for recommendation.
- constipation or wind – eat extra high-fibre meals corresponding to recent fruit, greens and cereals, and drink loads of water. Attempt to train extra frequently, for instance, by going for a each day stroll or run. If this does not assist, speak to your pharmacist or physician. Watch this brief video What’s learn how to deal with constipation.
- diarrhoea – drink loads of water to keep away from dehydration. Indicators of dehydration embrace peeing lower than regular or having darkish, strong-smelling pee.
7. Being pregnant and breastfeeding
Atorvastatin is not really helpful throughout being pregnant or breastfeeding, as there isn’t any agency proof it is protected.
Speak to your physician if you wish to get pregnant. It is best to cease taking atorvastatin a minimum of 3 months earlier than you begin making an attempt for a child.
For those who grow to be pregnant whereas taking atorvastatin, cease taking the medication and inform your physician.
Atorvastatin and breastfeeding
It isn’t identified if atorvastatin will get into breast milk, however it could trigger issues in your child. Communicate to your physician What’s what’s finest for you and your child when you’re breastfeeding. It might be potential to delay beginning or restarting atorvastatin till you’ve got stopped breastfeeding utterly.
Non-urgent recommendation: Inform your physician if you happen to’re:
- making an attempt to get pregnant
8. Cautions with different medicines
Some medicines have an effect on the way in which atorvastatin works and might improve the chance of great unwanted side effects.
Medicines that won’t combine effectively with atorvastatin embrace:
- some antibiotics and antifungals
- some HIV medicines
- some hepatitis C medicines
- warfarin (stops blood clotting)
- ciclosporin (treats psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- colchicine (a medication for gout)
- contraceptive capsules
- verapamil, diltiazem, amlodipine (for hypertension and coronary heart issues)
- amiodarone (makes your coronary heart steady)
For those who’re taking atorvastatin and have to take one in all these medicines, your physician might:
- prescribe a decrease dose of atorvastatin
- prescribe a unique statin medication
- suggest that you simply cease taking atorvastatin for some time
These aren’t all of the medicines that may intrude with atorvastatin. For a full listing see the leaflet inside your medication packet or test along with your pharmacist.
Mixing atorvastatin with natural cures and dietary supplements
St John’s wort, a natural medication taken for despair, reduces the quantity of atorvastatin in your blood, so it would not work as effectively.
Speak to your physician if you happen to’re considering What’s beginning St John’s wort, as it’s going to change how effectively atorvastatin works.
Inform your physician or pharmacist if you happen to’re taking another medicines, together with natural medicines, nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements.
9. Widespread questions
How does atorvastatin work?
Atorvastatin acts on the liver to cease it making ldl cholesterol. This lowers your blood ldl cholesterol degree.
For the primary 12 months on this medication, you may be provided a few routine exams to verify your liver is working usually.
How lengthy do statins take to work?
Your levels of cholesterol ought to drop noticeably inside 4 weeks – if you happen to take your medication frequently, as prescribed.
How lengthy will I take atorvastatin for?
Normally, remedy with a statin corresponding to atorvastatin is for all times. The advantages will solely proceed for so long as you’re taking it. For those who cease taking atorvastatin with out beginning a unique remedy, your ldl cholesterol degree might rise once more.
Are statins protected?
You might have learn detrimental tales What’s statins, however they’re regarded as very protected, efficient medicines. Statins are thought to have only a few unwanted side effects. Typically the unwanted side effects that individuals report aren’t associated to their medication. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re involved What’s the security of statins, speak to your physician.
Is it protected to take atorvastatin for a very long time?
Atorvastatin is protected to take for a very long time, even a few years. In actual fact, it really works finest whenever you take it for a very long time. Statins have been used for almost 30 years to decrease ldl cholesterol.
Is atorvastatin addictive?
No, there isn’t any proof that atorvastatin is addictive. You will not get any withdrawal signs whenever you cease taking it.
What’s going to occur if I come off it?
Chances are you’ll need to cease atorvastatin if you happen to assume you are having unwanted side effects. Speak to your physician first to see if it truly is a facet impact of atorvastatin or an unrelated downside. Your physician might resolve to decrease your dose or change your medication.
You will not get any withdrawal signs. Nonetheless, stopping atorvastatin might trigger your ldl cholesterol to rise. This will increase your threat of coronary heart assaults and strokes. If you wish to cease taking your medication, it is vital to search out one other option to decrease your ldl cholesterol.
Does it assist to take dietary supplements along with statins?
There’s some curiosity in taking CoQ10 along with statins. Nonetheless there isn’t any agency proof that taking CoQ10 similtaneously atorvastatin will profit your well being. Extra analysis is required.
For those who resolve to take a CoQ10 complement, inform your physician or pharmacist. Dietary supplements can intrude with different medicines you might also be taking.
Will taking atorvastatin improve my threat of diabetes?
For those who’re at excessive threat of growing kind 2 diabetes, taking statins might barely improve this threat. It’s because statins can elevate your blood sugar a bit of.
Communicate to your physician, who will be capable of clarify how the advantages of taking statins are more likely to outweigh this small elevated threat.
If you have already got kind 2 diabetes, your physician might advise monitoring your blood sugar ranges extra intently for the primary few months. Inform your physician or diabetes nurse if you happen to discover it more durable to manage your blood sugar.
How does it evaluate with different medicines for top ldl cholesterol?
Statins all work in the identical method, however they differ in how effectively they decrease ldl cholesterol. There are a number of different statin medicines for reducing your ldl cholesterol, together with:
When you’ve got a facet impact with one statin, it could not occur with one other. Some medicines don’t combine effectively with one statin, however you possibly can take them with a unique one. Your physician will discover the proper statin and dose for you, relying in your medical historical past, ldl cholesterol degree and the opposite medicines you’re taking.
Can I drive or trip a motorbike?
Sure, you possibly can drive or cycle whereas taking atorvastatin.
Will it scale back my fertility?
There is no agency proof to recommend that taking atorvastatin will scale back fertility in both males or ladies.
Nonetheless, communicate to a pharmacist or your physician earlier than taking it if you happen to’re making an attempt to get pregnant.
Will it cease my contraception working?
For girls, atorvastatin might barely improve the hormones launched into your system from some contraceptive capsules. You’ll nonetheless be protected against being pregnant, however this might improve your possibilities of unwanted side effects from contraceptive capsules. When you’ve got any unwanted side effects, speak to your physician or pharmacist.
Can I drink alcohol with it?
Sure, you possibly can drink alcohol whereas taking atorvastatin. Nonetheless, consuming a number of alcohol might imply you are extra more likely to get muscle and liver unwanted side effects. Strive to not drink greater than 14 items of alcohol per week. A regular glass of wine (175ml) is 2 items. A pint of lager or beer is often 2 to three items of alcohol.
Is there any meals or drink I have to keep away from?
It is best to not have an excessive amount of grapefruit juice when taking atorvastatin. Ingesting plenty of grapefruit juice (greater than What’s a litre a day) can intrude with the way in which this medication works. It will increase the focus of atorvastatin in your system.
Can life-style modifications assist?
Decreasing your ldl cholesterol might imply you do not should be prescribed a statin medication. There are life-style modifications you can also make that can assist decrease your ldl cholesterol:
-ensure you’re a wholesome weight
-eat effectively – reduce saturated fats and improve fibre, fruits, greens, wholegrains and fish
-reduce down on alcohol
-attempt to train daily
- Heart problems
- Coronary heart assault
- Atorvastatin: boards
- British Coronary heart Basis: charity
- Coronary heart UK: charity
- Stroke Affiliation: charity
- Statins: movies of actual tales