What is atorvastatin?
Atorvastatin belongs to the HMG CoA reductase inhibitors drug group known as “statins.” It is used to lower blood levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL), increase levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL), and lower triglycerides. It treats high cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart complications in individuals with coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or other risk factors. However, atorvastatin has a high degree of side effects and interactions. It can cause skeletal muscle tissue breakdown, resulting in kidney failure, especially in older adults and people with kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism. Atorvastatin is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals and those with liver disease. It can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects.
You should also inform your doctor if you have liver problems, muscle pain or weakness, kidney disease, diabetes, a thyroid disorder, or if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily. You should take atorvastatin exactly as prescribed by your doctor and follow all directions on your prescription label. Atorvastatin can be taken once a day, with or without food, at the same time each day. Do not break a tablet unless your doctor has advised you to do so. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. You may need to stop using atorvastatin for a short time in case of uncontrolled seizures, electrolyte imbalance, severely low blood pressure, severe infection, illness, surgery, or medical emergency. It may take up to two weeks for your cholesterol levels to improve, and you may need regular blood tests. Your doctor may determine the duration of the treatment by assessing your medical history. To get the best results, you should follow a complete treatment program that includes diet, exercise, and weight control. You should avoid eating high-fat or cholesterol foods and minimize alcohol intake. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may also interact with atorvastatin, leading to potentially dangerous effects. If you experience signs of an allergic reaction to atorvastatin, such as hives or difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical help.