What are atorvastatin tablets?

ATORVASTATIN (Lipitor®) reduces the body's ability to make cholesterol and thus lowers high cholesterol. It belongs to a group of drugs known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or 'statins'. The drug can also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other complications in certain patients, such as those with type 2 diabetes or risk factors for heart disease. Cholesterol-lowering drugs are used along with a diet low in fat and cholesterol; additional lifestyle changes may be recommended. Generic atorvastatin tablets are not yet available.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

• an alcohol problem

• any hormone disorder (such as diabetes, under-active thyroid)

• blood salt imbalance

• infection

• kidney disease

• liver disease

• low blood pressure

• muscle disorder or condition

• recent surgery

• seizures (convulsions)

• severe injury

• an unusual or allergic reaction to atorvastatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

• pregnant or trying to get pregnant

• breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take atorvastatin tablets by mouth. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Atorvastatin can be taken at anytime of the day, with or without food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Atorvastatin has been used in children as young as 10 years of age.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with atorvastatin?

• alcohol-containing beverages

• antacids

• barbiturates (examples: phenobarbital, butalbital, primidone)

• birth control pills

• bosentan

• carbamazepine

• certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or troleandomycin

• colestipol

• cyclosporine

• diltiazem

• fenofibrate

• gemfibrozil

• grapefruit juice

• herbal medicines such as St. John's Wort or Went Yeast/Red Rice Yeast

• imatinib, STI-571

• medicines for fungal infections (examples: fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)

• medicines for treating HIV infection

• niacin

• nefazodone

• oxcarbazepine

• phenytoin

• pioglitazone

• rifampin, rifabutin, or rifapentine

• telithromycin

• verapamil

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking atorvastatin?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

Rare or uncommon:

• dark yellow or brown urine

• decreased urination, difficulty passing urine

• fever

• muscle pain, tenderness, cramps, or weakness

• redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

• skin rash, itching

• unusual tiredness or weakness

• yellowing of the skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

• diarrhea

• gas

• headache

• joint pain

• nausea, vomiting

• stomach upset or pain

• tiredness

What should I watch for while taking atorvastatin?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.

Tell your prescriber or health care professional as soon as you can if you get any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever and tiredness.

Atorvastatin is only part of a total cholesterol-lowering program. Your physician or dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet that will reduce your risk of getting heart and blood vessel disease. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.

Atorvastatin should not be used by females who are pregnant or breast-feeding. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child or to an infant. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.

If you are going to have surgery tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking atorvastatin.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at controlled room temperature between 20 to 25 degrees C (68 to 77 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Atorvastatin is used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride (fat-like substances) levels in the blood
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