ATORVASTATIN (a TORE va sta tin) is known as a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or 'statin'. It lowers the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. This drug may also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other health problems in patients with risk factors for heart disease. Diet and lifestyle changes are often used with this drug.
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Do not take with grapefruit juice. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 10 for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
loss of memory
redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
signs and symptoms of muscle injury like dark urine; trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine; unusually weak or tired; muscle pain or side or back pain
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
certain antivirals for HIV or hepatitis
supplements like red yeast rice
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
birth control pills
certain antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
certain medicines for cholesterol like fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and niacin
certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
supplements like black cohosh and St. John's wort
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If your next dose is to be taken in less than 12 hours, then do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take double or extra doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
if you often drink alcohol
history of stroke
muscle aches or weakness
an unusual or allergic reaction to atorvastatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check-ups. You may need regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.
Your health care professional may tell you to stop taking this medicine if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medicine, contact your health care professional.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their health care professional if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.
If you are going to need surgery or other procedure, tell your doctor that you are using this medicine.
This drug is only part of a total heart-health program. Your doctor or a dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to help. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.