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    What is atorvastatin?

    Atorvastatin, commonly known as Lipitor, is an orally administered drug used for treating high cholesterol. This medication belongs to a group of drugs called “statins” (or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors), which help to lower cholesterol in the blood. Lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin, and rosuvastatin are other drugs that fall in the same category.

    How does atorvastatin work?

    Atorvastatin prevents the production of cholesterol in the liver by blocking HMG-CoA reductase, the enzyme that creates low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. In turn, the medication raises the concentration of “good” cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which helps prevent heart disease and stroke.

    Who should take atorvastatin?

    This drug is normally prescribed to those who have a high cholesterol level and are at risk of developing heart disease. In a process called atherosclerosis, cholesterol and fats accumulate along the walls of arteries and reduce the flow of blood and oxygen to different parts of the body. This can lead to heart attack and other complications such as angina. Atorvastatin can help lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks by reducing cholesterol in the blood.

    Individuals with type-2 diabetes may also be prescribed this drug to prevent heart complications. The drug can only be prescribed to adults and children over the age of 10.

    How should I take atorvastatin?

    Atorvastatin is available in the form of tablets in different strengths. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation and your condition, you may be prescribed Atorvastatin 10mg tablet, Atorvastatin 20mg tablet, Atorvastatin 40mg tablet, or Atorvastatin 80mg tablet. For instance, Atorvastatin 40mg is usually prescribed to patients who require a reduction in LDL-cholesterol level of more than 45%.

    You must strictly follow your doctor’s directions when taking Atorvastatin. You will be required to take the tablet by mouth, with water, once a day. Generally, patients take the prescribed dose for 2-4 weeks before making any adjustment in the dosage.

    What precautions should I take before using atorvastatin?

    Before you start taking this medication, consult your doctor to discuss any other medications you may be taking. You should also let your doctor know of any allergies you have, as well as medical conditions such as liver or kidney diseases. Pregnant women should not take Atorvastatin.

    Avoid taking Atorvastatin with grapefruit juice as it may increase the amount of medication in your bloodstream. You may also be asked to reduce your alcohol intake as it may increase the risk of liver diseases.

    What are the side effects of atorvastatin?

    Here are some of the side effects you may experience with this medication:

    • Unexplained memory problems and confusion
    • Muscle pain and weakness
    • Nausea
    • Increased thirst and urination
    • Increased appetite
    • Blurred vision
    • Weight loss
    • Dry skin
    • Clay-colored stool and dark urine
    • Upper stomach pain
    • Loss of appetite
    • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue and throat
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Diarrhea

    If you experience these side effects, call your doctor. Atorvastatin can be used with a diet and exercise plan. To lower cholesterol levels, additional changes in diet and lifestyle are recommended. You can get Atorvastatin from your local pharmacy or online at recognized online pharmacies such as HealthWarehouse.com.

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