Lipitor is the brand name of atorvastatin, a drug used to lower “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It is one of the most-prescribed medications for people with high cholesterol and other related conditions. People with these conditions experience greater risk for coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Lipitor reduces bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels by decreasing the production of an enzyme called hepatic lipase. This enzyme is responsible for producing more fat from the foods you eat. When this enzyme is blocked, your body can’t produce as much fat from your food and instead excretes it through your stool — reducing your total LDL and triglyceride levels in the process.
What you should know before taking Lipitor?
Due to its side effects, Lipitor is not indicated for everyone. The drug is contraindicated for individuals on certain medications (like the blood thinner warfarin) and those with certain health conditions (e.g. liver or kidney disease, diabetes, pregnancy).
In addition, your doctor may advise against taking Lipitor if you’re already taking other cholesterol-lowering medications. Lipitor is often prescribed in combination with other lipid-modifying agents like statins or fibrates.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any allergies or if you’re currently taking other prescription or over-the-counter medications. Also inform them about any supplements or herbal remedies you’re taking. This way, your doctor can help you determine if Lipitor is the best drug for you and prescribe the right dosage.
How to take Lipitor?
Always check with your doctor before starting or stopping any medication, including Lipitor. For people with high cholesterol, the recommended dose per day should always be as prescribed by doctor. Those with very high cholesterol may be prescribed a higher dose, while people with low levels may be instructed to lower it. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and continue with your regular schedule.
Warning: Lipitor is a controlled substance that requires special handling and storage. Make sure nobody under the age of 18 has access to your pills. Make sure to keep them in a place where others can’t get to them, such as a locked cabinet or a safe.
Like any medication, Lipitor comes with a risk of side effects. Some of the most common ones include: –
Allergic reactions and rashes– If you experience itching, blistering, or tightness in the skin, hives, swelling, or trouble breathing, stop taking Lipitor and call your doctor immediately. These could be signs of a severe allergic reaction.
Gastrointestinal issues– Diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal pain are signs of GI distress. If they’re persistent, let your doctor know.
Liver damage– Your liver is responsible for filtering toxins from your blood. If you have a pre-existing liver condition, taking Lipitor may intensify this condition. Your doctor will be able to determine if you have the potential for developing liver damage if you’re taking this medication.
How to ensure you get the most from your Lipitor Dose?
- Always take the lowest dose necessary to achieve your desired cholesterol-lowering results.
- Avoid stopping or starting other cholesterol-lowering drugs without consulting your doctor.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will help flush out toxins from your system.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. It can damage your liver and increase your risk of liver damage if you’re taking Lipitor.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods contain antioxidants that can protect your liver from damage.
The Bottom Line: All you need to know about Lipitor (atorvastatin)
Lipitor is a cholesterol-lowering medication used to treat high cholesterol and related conditions like coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It reduces LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels by blocking production of an enzyme called hepatic lipase. Side effects of Lipitor include allergic reactions, GI distress, and liver damage. To get the most out of your Lipitor dosage, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, eat a healthy diet, and stay hydrated.