Your doctor has prescribed these pills to help lower your cholesterol or other fats in the blood (such as triglycerides). High levels of these fats can cause heart disease by clogging the blood vessels that feed blood and oxygen to your heart.
Lipitor is just part of the treatment your doctor will plan with you to help keep you healthy. Depending on your health and your lifestyle, your doctor may recommend:
- a change in your diet to control your weight and reduce your cholesterol;
- exercise that is right for you;
- quitting smoking or avoiding smoky places;
- giving up alcohol or drinking less.
Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Lipitor belongs to the class of medicines known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Lipitor is effective in reducing low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides and other lipids/fats in the blood. It also raises High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C), the beneficial cholesterol. You can only get Lipitor by prescription after seeing your doctor. It is made with the drug atorvastatin. Lipitor is the brand name of atorvastatin and is manufactured by Pfizer Canada Inc.
Before you use this medicine:
Talk to your doctor if:
- You have liver disease.
- You are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or think you might be pregnant. This medicine should not be used during pregnancy. If you get pregnant during treatment, you should stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor immediately.
- You are breast-feeding your baby. This medicine may be present in your breast milk.
- You have taken any of the following medicines before and you have had a reaction:
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Zocor (simvastatin)
- Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Pravachol (pravastatin)
- Lescol (fluvastatin)
- Baycol (cerivastatin) - no longer available
- You are taking any other medicines, prescription or non-prescription, especially:
- corticosteroids (cortisone-like medicines)
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
- gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- fenofibrate (Lipidil Micro) or bezafibrate (Bezalip)
- lipid-lowering doses of niacin (nicotinic acid)
- erythromycin, clarithromycin or azole antifungal agents (ketoconazole or itraconazole)
- nefazodone (Serzone)
- indinavir sulfate (Crixivan), nelfinavir mesylate (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), saquinavir mesylate (Invirase)
- Please note that there is little experience with this medicine in adolescents (teenagers) and children.
How to use this medicine:
We often cannot see or feel the problems that high cholesterol causes until a lot of time has passed. That's why it is important to take these pills just as your doctor tells you to. You and your doctor will be watching your cholesterol levels to get them down to a safe range. Here are some important tips.
- Keep your medicine at room temperature (15 to 30°C) away from warm or damp places like the bathroom or kitchen.
- Follow the plan that you and your doctor make for diet, exercise and weight control.
- Take your Lipitor as a single dose. It does not matter if you take it with food or without food, but you should not take it with grapefruit juice. Your doctor will usually tell you to take it in the evenings.
- If you miss taking a pill, take it as soon as you can. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take the next dose. Don't take a double dose.
- Never change the dose unless your doctor tells you to.
- Don't drink too much alcohol while you are taking Lipitor. Talk to your doctor about how much is too much for you.
- If you get sick, have an operation, or need medical treatment while you are taking Lipitor, inform your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Lipitor.
- If you have to take any other medicine--prescription or non-prescription--while you are taking Lipitor, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.
- If you have to see a different doctor for any reason, be sure to inform him/her that you are taking Lipitor.
- Tell your doctor if you have any muscle pain, tenderness, soreness or weakness during treatment with Lipitor (see Side Effects).
- Talk to your doctor right away if you feel any side effects (see below).
Most people do not have any problems with side effects when taking this medicine. However, all medicines can cause unwanted side effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of the following persist or become troublesome:
- stomach pain or upset
- vomiting or throwing up
- skin rash
Talk to your doctor right away if you have:
- muscle pain that you can't explain
- muscle tenderness or soreness
- weakness and not feeling well
Some people may have other side effects. If you notice anything unusual, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
The active ingredient in your Lipitor tablets is atorvastatin. The tablets are available in 4 strengths: 10, 20, 40 and 80 mg. The other commonly used ingredients in your Lipitor tablets are:
- calcium carbonate
- croscarmellose sodium
- lactose monohydrate
- microcrystalline cellulose
- polyethylene glycol
- titanium dioxide
- simethicone emulsion
- candelilla wax
- hydroxypropyl cellulose
- magnesium stearate
- hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
- polysorbate 80
Your doctor prescribed this medicine for you only. Don't give your pills to anyone else. Always keep medicine well out of the reach of children. Keep your medicine at room temperature (15 to 30°C) away from warm and damp places like the bathroom or kitchen.