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Lipitor is used for lowering high cholesterol and triglycerides in certain patients. It also increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL, "good") cholesterol levels. It is used along with an appropriate diet. It is used in certain patients to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, chest pain caused by angina, or blood vessel blockage. It is also used in certain patients to reduce the risk of hospitalization for congestive heart failure, or the need for medical procedures to open blocked heart blood vessels. Lipitor is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, also known as a "statin." It works by reducing the production of certain fatty substances in the body, including cholesterol.
Use Lipitor as directed by your doctor.
- Take Lipitor by mouth with or without food.
- Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may increase the amount of Lipitor in your blood, which may increase your risk for serious side effects. The risk may be greater with large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Avoid large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (eg, more than one quart daily). Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are taking Lipitor.
- Continue to take Lipitor even if you feel well. Do not miss any dose.
- If you miss a dose of Lipitor, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Lipitor.
Store Lipitor at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Lipitor out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Active Ingredient: Atorvastatin calcium.
Do NOT use Lipitor if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Lipitor
- you have liver problems or unexplained abnormal liver function tests
- you are pregnant or breast-feeding
- you are taking an HIV protease inhibitor (eg, ritonavir), itraconazole, or mibefradil.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Lipitor. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have low blood pressure, a serious infection, or a history of seizures
- if you have metabolism, hormonal, or electrolyte problems
- if you drink alcohol or have a history of liver problems or alcohol abuse
- if you have recently had major surgery, a serious injury, or a stroke.
Some medicines may interact with Lipitor. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Amiodarone, azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole), colchicine, diltiazem, fibrates (eg, clofibrate, gemfibrozil), fluconazole, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), imatinib, immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine), macrolides (eg, erythromycin), mibefradil, nefazodone, niacin, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (eg, delavirdine), streptogramins (eg, dalfopristin), telithromycin, vasopressin receptor antagonists (eg, conivaptan), verapamil, or voriconazole because they may increase the risk of muscle or kidney problems
- Bosentan, carbamazepine, efavirenz, rifampin, or St. John's wort because they may decrease Lipitor's effectiveness
- Digoxin, hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), macrolide immunosuppressants (eg, tacrolimus), or spironolactone because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Lipitor.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Lipitor may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information:
- Lipitor may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Lipitor with caution. Do not drive or perform other possible unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Drinking alcohol daily or in large amounts may increase the risk of liver problems with Lipitor. Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol while you are taking Lipitor.
- Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Lipitor before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Women who may become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking Lipitor. Check with your doctor if you have questions about using birth control.
- Report any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness to your doctor right away, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort.
- Lab tests, including blood cholesterol levels and liver function tests, may be performed while you use Lipitor. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Lipitor should be used with extreme caution in children younger 10 years and in those who have not reached puberty; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Do not use Lipitor if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Lipitor is found in breast milk. Do not breastfeed while taking Lipitor.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Constipation; gas; headache; stomach pain or upset; weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bone, joint, or tendon pain; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; dark urine; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; flu-like symptoms; joint pain; muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (with or without fever or fatigue); painful or frequent urination; pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe stomach pain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; yellowing of the eyes or skin.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.