Generic Name: Atorvastatin (a TORE va sta tin)
Brand Name: Lipitor
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 14, 2020.
Uses of Atorvastatin:
- It is used to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol (HDL).
- It is used to lower triglycerides.
- It is used in some people to lower the chance of heart attack, stroke, and certain heart procedures.
- It is used to slow the progress of heart disease.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Atorvastatin?
- If you are allergic to atorvastatin; any part of atorvastatin; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take atorvastatin if you are pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take atorvastatin.
- If you have liver disease or raised liver enzymes.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Cyclosporine, gemfibrozil, glecaprevir plus pibrentasvir, letermovir, or tipranavir plus ritonavir.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with atorvastatin.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take atorvastatin with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Atorvastatin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take atorvastatin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
- Avoid or limit drinking alcohol to less than 3 drinks a day. Drinking too much alcohol may raise your chance of liver disease.
- If you are 65 or older, use atorvastatin with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may cause harm to an unborn baby. Women must use birth control while taking atorvastatin. If you get pregnant, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Atorvastatin) best taken?
Use atorvastatin as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take atorvastatin at the same time of day.
- Take with or without food.
- Keep taking atorvastatin as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your normal time.
- If it has been 12 hours or more since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Feeling confused.
- Memory problems or loss.
- This medicine may cause muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Sometimes, a very bad muscle problem may happen that may lead to kidney problems. Rarely, deaths have happened in people who get these problems when taking drugs like this one. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness that is not normal (with or without fever or feeling out of sorts). Call your doctor right away if you have muscle signs that last after your doctor has told you to stop taking atorvastatin.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with atorvastatin. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Atorvastatin?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Joint pain.
- Upset stomach.
- Nose or throat irritation.
- Trouble sleeping.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Atorvastatin?
- Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about atorvastatin, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
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More about atorvastatin
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 209 Reviews
- Drug class: statins
- FDA Alerts (5)
Other brands: Lipitor