Articles, DRUGS

Atorvastatin (lipitor) – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

It is quiet natural for a person in the present day world to experience issues regarding health. The ever so busy schedule has rendered us so very busy that we hardly get to catch up on the day’s health quotient. A quick glass of synthetic ready made juice and a toast on the go soon turns into breakfast skipping and late night dinners. With irregularity in your every day system, often certain disorders show up. It can purely be based on psychological issues or at times, in a much lighter dose it can be certain bodily functions going haywire. In today’s case it is bad cholesterol and the constant rising of it which is detrimental to your system.

Cholesterol like the two sides of a coin is both a necessity and a demon for our body and hence can be classified in a rookie way as a “good” and a “bad” cholesterol. In the right amounts, the good cholesterol would be required as an essential body substance but if too high in levels, bad cholesterol would be fatal to your system. hence, it is only natural that a medicine is required to keep these levels stable and regulated and thus we come upon the drug that will be the topic of our discussion today, atorvastatin. This is the generic drug name going under the popular brand name Lipitor. These falls under a category of drugs that we recognize as “statins” where this drug works to reduces the level of the bad cholesterol while possibly increasing the good cholesterol level thereby using the striking balance to keep health in check.

Apart from the cholesterol levels, this drug also reduces the level of triglycerides in our blood and reduces scope of cardiac arrest due to the rise of bad cholesterol levels. This is however regarded as a prescription drug and should only be opted for on doctor’s approval.

Atorvastatin

ATORVASTATIN DRUG BENEFITS:

Lipoproteins carry cholesterol and these are two in number which in turn gives birth to good and bad cholesterol levels or as we call it in a much more refined term, LDL and HDL. While HDL stands for high density lipoprotein these good cholesterol is often understated by the rising levels of LDL or the low density lipoprotein which is actually regarded as the bad cholesterol. To keep these vital levels in check, the Lipitor or the atorvastatin has a listed set of benefits that we would discuss in the following segment:

  • LDL check: as explained above, LDL or low density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol that causes disruption to your body. Rise in their level can even lead up to heavy heart risks and sudden heart attacks. This is where atorvastatin actually helps you keep the bad cholesterol level in check. On the counterpart, atorvastatin uses its benefits to increase the HDL cholesterol levels that actually aid in body functioning.
  • Triglyceride in blood: triglyceride can be defined as a form of fat that is present in the blood, a rise in whose level can increase your blood pressure. Due to the fat content increase in the blood, the blood flow is restricted and if that’s not all, it actually increases the risk of coronary blockage. The blood flowing through the veins or the arteries may often leave residual fat the buildup of which causes heart block. Lipitor reduces the levels of triglyceride in your system along with the LDL levels.
  • Reduce stroke possibilities: reflecting on the top two points, Lipitor or atorvastatin reduces the chances of sudden stroke. The world today is orbiting around high pressure and on time schedules and keeping up with that would often force a person to incur heavy pressure on the heart in the form of high risking levels of bad cholesterol or fat content in your blood.
  • Helps you keep your diet in control: now a person highly influenced by the LDL would tell you about their strict diet which is essential for their health concern. People with risk of high LDL levels prevent themselves from having a nutritional whole meal and along the course you as a patient may miss out on many of the best delicacies. With the help of this drug you can now relax down on your diet chart and possibly risk a few items you were denied before.

Heart risks kept at bay: heart issues not only surround around sudden heart attacks but there is also a huge possibility that your heart may incur certain other risks like artery clogging or blood vessel blockage or even lack of enough blood flow to the system possibly owing to the triglycerides. All these are concerns that are handled and tackled by Lipitor where this medicine primarily focuses on keeping the external elements from inculcating hindrance in your working system.

HOW TO USE ATORVASTATIN:

  • According to your body weight, age and your medical need, the doctor prescribes to you the best way to consume this medicine and the best dosages for the purposes to be filled. However, in case he has missed out on a few points, here’s a recap. This medicine should strictly be taken by mouth unless your doctor prescribes otherwise.
  • The usual way to consume this medicine is strict oral and should usually be restricted to strictly once a day. If you have questions regarding the dosage or the consumption time, make sure you consult your doctor or your pharmacist regarding the dose. You can either choose to consume it with food or without food as prescribed. The initial doses should strictly be limited to the minimum until the doctor prescribes otherwise. If the results are not showing up even after repeated usage, it’s time to level up on your dosage.

However, results take some time to show up and therefore one should patiently wait before jumping to higher atorvastatin dosage. Also, while consumption follow this one rule where you should never bite down or break the medicine in half while consuming. A glass of water should suffice enough and you can just gulp down the medicine.

ATORVASTATIN DRUG DOSAGE:

  • The dosage for the atorvastatin would strictly be limited to what your doctor has prescribed to you. When refilling always make sure you are refilling the same dosage amount from your pharmacist and then keep a strict outlook on the result. The dosage usually should be started with an initial dose to check the effectiveness and on requirement the dosage can be increased.
  • The initial starting dose should be around Lipitor 10mg which is a base dose. The minimum dosage for an adult would be around 10 to
    atorvastatin 20 mg. encased within tablets, these tablets should be consumed at least once a day and should be gulped down with water instead of breaking it in half unless advised so by your doctor. Patients who are dealing with an alarming rate of rise in LDL, their basic or minimum dose can be started from 40, as in, Lipitor 40mg. this is a daily dose and can be increased to atorvastatin 80 mg. however, this is strictly an adult dose and the dosage should be limited or restricted to around 10 to 20mg based for patients from 10 to 18. The dosage should also be restricted for elderly.

The dosage should be analyzed based on individuals rather than a common survey as every different person reacts differently to this medicine and hence judging the improvement quotient would be quiet difficult. Also, the improvement quotient should be judged after a good 2 to 4 week which is usually the time that the medicinal drug takes to unleash its full effects.

PRECAUTIONS:

  • Right before your doctor prescribes this medicine to you, make sure you give him a detailed overview of your medical history and the medicines that you have or is currently consuming to keep your vital body signs stabilized. This is essential if you want to avoid side effects or counter reactions.
  • Also, if you are stepping into motherhood or is already working through the labor months, refrain from using this medicine as this passes into the breast milk which is the only source for the baby at that time, thereby indirectly affecting your infant.
  • Also, if you are going in for surgery, make sure your surgeon is well aware of the fact that you intake Lipitor. The same can be said for all allergy medicines that highly react. Usually allergy medicines react with just about any drug and therefore you should strictly consult your doctor regarding the allergy medicine situation.
  • Also, at around this time control your alcohol or drug abuse habits as these too react with the drug. If you are into morning after or birth control pills, please consult your doctor over the daily use of them if you are prescribed a daily dose for this medicine.

INTERACTION WITH OTHER DRUGS:

Every drug has a certain percentage of inactive ingredient which highly reacts with other medicinal drugs. Hence, if you are currently using any medications that are prone to reaction, immediately consult your doctor regarding it.

Anti- fungal like ketaconazole will be deeply affecting you during your course through atorvastatin and therefore should be refrained from. Also if you are using any allergy medicines, keep them away while going through this course. The same can be said for medicines for your heart, kidney or liver. Consult your doctor by furnishing to him a detailed list of your medical history so that he is aware of the interactions before prescribing it to you.

ATORVASTATIN DRUG SIDE EFFECTS:

every drug has two sides much like the flip sides of a coin. One is the pro and the other is the con. While atorvastatin or Lipitor as we know it does help us keep our bad cholesterol levels in check, there are a few side effects that one may incur whilst going through the course of this medicine. Some of these side effects are common and can be quite negligible. These are usual or common and need not be a concern. However, at times it may become serious if the side effects are a bit too loud and right at that moment a doctor’s consultation is preferred. Enlisted below is a list to some of the common side effects that might affect you:

  • Diabetic check: atorvastatin may or may not increase or worsen your diabetic condition. If the side effect is subtle and your body is compatible with the reaction, it may be quiet common for you to deal with your diabetic habits but if the side effect worsens, it is at this time that your diabetic measures should be taken into account.
  • Excretory changes: Lipitor may result in diarrhea or change in the color of your urination. Even though this is not too common a side effect, at the base level or the starting, it is completely okay since this is your body’s first reaction to a foreign substance induced within your system. however, if this persists keep an appointment scheduled with your doctor.
  • Body pain and paranoia: body pain can be recognized as strong abdominal pain or strict muscle pain with cramps and twitches.  Often you might even notice a few joint pain issues which if too much to bear should be consulted with the doctor. Paranoia is simply a psychological issue which is quiet uncommon for this drug and may not be a serious effect.
  • Fatigue and nausea: atorvastatin side effects can cause unusual tiredness and nausea feels. Tiredness is recorded as quite a common side effect and should not be a concern but nausea side effects can increase to even unusual vomiting if not taken care.
  • Oral sores: yet another side effect to this can be in the form of sores or ulcers in your mouth. This is usually a side effect that speaks of the body’s compatibility with the drug induced.
  • Difficulty in swallowing with wheezing: this is one of the serious concerns where the side effect can be in the form of difficulty in swallowing or even worse shortage of breath which therefore results in wheezing and suffocative gestures. Consult your doctor immediately.
  • Slight swell: swelling may persist where your face, throat, hands and even the joints may start to swell up. This is simply an allergic reaction sign and can mean the drug is not suiting your system.
  • Fever and cold chill: once again this is one of the common side effects of atorvastatin and thus can be controlled and will not be a concern if the temperature remains within control. Fever and soft cold chills would be a common phenomena.

While there are innumerable advertisements on the tv that talk about healthy cooking oils and no sugar sweeteners to reduce cholesterol, at the end of the day it all comes down to the modern day medicines that uses their advanced chemical bindings to make permanent changes to our disorders, this time for the best.

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