We all are aware of a very important term named as ‘Cholesterol’ and we always get frightened with this term as most of the time we hear some kind of bad news related to this topic. So, we try to avoid the foods that contain high cholesterol. It is important to know that the cholesterol is essential for our body and is a fatty substance, which is found in food. Our body contains about 100 g of cholesterol. It is useful in the production of some hormones, creation of bile juice, formation of cell membranes etc. But if cholesterol is excess in our body, it can be very harmful for the body causing serious health issues.
And so Lipitor i.e. Atorvastatin drug is used to control such situations. Atorvastatin is an oral drug that lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. It belongs to a class of drugs referred to as ‘Statins’, which includes Lovastatin Mevacor, Simvastatin Zocor, Fluvastatin Lescol and Pravastatin Pravachol. All Statins including Atorvastatin prevent the production of cholesterol by the liver by blocking the enzyme that makes cholesterol HMG-CoA reductase. They lower total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is believed to be the bad cholesterol that is primarily responsible for the development of coronary artery disease.
Lowering LDL cholesterol levels retards progression and may even reverse coronary artery disease. Unlike the other drugs in this class, Atorvastatin also can reduce the concentration of triglycerides in the blood. High blood concentrations of triglycerides also have been associated with coronary artery disease. Atorvastatin was approved by the FDA in December of 1996.
Lipitor Atorvastatin is prescribed only once daily with a full glass of water. Starting doses are 10 – 40 mg daily. It may be taken with or without food and at any time of day. Try to maintain your dosing schedule as prescribed by your doctor.
Atorvastatin is generally well-tolerated and side effects are rare. Minor side effects include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, gas, heartburn, mild stomachache or nausea, stuffy nose, upset stomach, bloating, headache etc. Atorvastatin should be used with caution in patients with alcohol or other liver diseases. Persistently abnormal liver tests during treatment are rare but may require discontinuation of the medication.
Rare cases of muscle inflammation myositis and breakdown have been reported with other drugs in this class HMG-CoA reductase antagonists and it is assumed that this side effect also may occur with Atorvastatin. Muscle breakdown causes the release of muscle protein myoglobin into the blood and accumulation of the protein in the kidney tubules resulting in kidney failure.
Please contact your doctor immediately to get treated on time, when such severe side effects are noticed or it may become worse to cope up with such conditions.
As with other drugs in this class the risk of muscle breakdown,so proper care is essential. Some of the medicines with which the Lipitor medicine can interact is: Cardiac Antidysrhythmics like Lanoxin [Digoxin] Antibiotics like Erythromycin, or Clarithromycin Antifungals like Itraconazole, or Ketoconazole Medicines for cancer Immunosuppressants like Ciclosorin [Gengraf, or Sandimmune] Lipid and cholesterol modifying medicines like Gemfibrozil [Lopid], or Fenofibrate [Tricor] etc.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, some experience may reveal that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although, these uses are not included in product labeling but you can consult your doctor for more results.
Always consult your doctor for the right dosage and never increase, decrease or stop the medicine on your own. Also, daily exercise is recommended, which will help you to get rid of the extra fat in your body, and in turn it will also help in reducing LDL and triglycerides. Never share your medicines with anyone, even if they have the same symptoms.
Try to have a conscious diet which is low in cholesterol like vegetables, fat-free milk, fish not fried in oil, soybean oils, egg whites, corn, canola etc. And do avoid cholesterol rich foods like Cheese, chocolates, cakes, cream, pastries, whole milk, liver, egg yolks, fatty meat etc.
Atorvastatin is used for the treatment of high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. High blood cholesterol is first treated with exercise weight loss and a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats. When these measures fail to achieve enough cholesterol-lowering medications such as Atorvastatin may be added. The National Cholesterol Education Program NCEP has published treatment guidelines for use of these medications.
These treatment guidelines take into account the level of LDL cholesterol as well as the presence of other factors that increase the risk for coronary artery disease such as diabetes, hypertension, cigarette smoking, low HDL cholesterol level and family history of early coronary heart disease.
The effectiveness of Atorvastatin in lowering cholesterol is dose related meaning that higher doses reduce cholesterol more. Blood cholesterol determinations are performed at regular intervals during treatment so that adjustments in doses can be made. This medicine can also be given to the children above 10 years old.
Following precautions must be taken while using generic Lipitor medication:
1. Discuss the complete medical history with your doctor before consuming Lipitor. If you ever had the problems like heart, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, irregular heartbeats, hypothyroidism, muscle disorder or any major operation, let your doctor know about this, so that accordingly he/she will suggest you for the medicine and its dose.
2. If you are consuming some other medicines, supplements, vitamins, herbal products etc. let your doctor be aware of this. If you have any allergies of certain drugs or Lipitor itself, feel free to share it with the doctor.
3. Do not share your medicine with others, even if they are suffering from the same condition.
4. If you are supposed to go through any operation or surgery, never fail to inform your doctor or dentist to know that you are consuming Lipitor medication.
5. Do not smoke or intake alcohol or grape juice as it may result into harmful side effects to your liver. Avoid them strictly during the course.
6. Do not discontinue the medicine, if you start feeling better in few days. For full benefits, you must at least take the medicine for minimum 4 weeks and take the doctor’s permission before stopping the intake of the medicine.
7. Pregnant women, women planning to conceive, and lactating mothers should consult their doctors before consuming this medicine as this medication is not recommended to them.
8. Keep all your lab appointments with your doctor or the lab assistant and keep monitoring your blood tests, liver function tests etc. for your cholesterol check.
9. Discard the any left over medicine, if it is not used or needed till 10 days and learn the proper method of discarding from your pharmacist or doctor.
10. Keep the medicine out of reach from the children.
11. If you experience weakness, flu-like symptoms, any new muscle pain, dark urine etc. inform your doctor immediately. As, it may be the sign of the rare side effects of the medicine that can lead to severe kidney failure.
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