Atorvastatin helps lower your cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood.
Excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.
Atorvastatin is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Take Atorvastatin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take Atorvastatin with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Atorvastatin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have liver disease as Atorvastatin may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Atorvastatin if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Atorvastatin may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Do not take Atorvastatin with medicines used to treat HIV or hepatitis C infections. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- with a history of stroke
- low blood pressure
- thyroid disorder
- kidney disease
- uncontrolled epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- history of muscle disorders
Notify your doctor if you consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Atorvastatin to a child.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Atorvastatin.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Your doctor may need to perform blood tests to make sure that your liver function is normal before you take Atorvastatin and thereafter depending on your doctor’s advice.
What lifestyle changes should I make to reduce my cholesterol levels?
A healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise are keys to help you reduce your cholesterol levels. Try to control the type and amount of food that you eat each meal. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet and avoid eating fried foods or foods that are high in fat. If you have not been exercising, start slow and gradually step up your exercise capacity.
Atorvastatin may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nose bleed, sore throat, nausea, stomach wind, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, back pain, muscle cramps, tiredness, rash, and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- persistent muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, weakness or numbness
- signs of liver problems e.g. yellowing of the skin or the eyes
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- swollen eyes, face or throat with difficulty in breathing
- rashes with peeling of the skin, blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Atorvastatin with the following medicines:
- medicines for Hepatitis C infection e.g. telaprevir, glecaprevir/pibrentasvir combination- tipranavir/ritonavir combinations (medicines for HIV infection)
- fusidic acid (antibiotic)
- ciclosporin (medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, niacin, ezetimibe, colestipol
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. lopinavir, efavirenz
- medicines for Hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, elbasvir/grazoprevir combination
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. diltiazem, digoxin, verapamil
- birth control pills e.g. norethindrone, ethinyl estradiol
- other medicines such as rifampicin, colchicine, phenytoin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Atorvastatin.
Atorvastatin should not be taken with antacids as antacids could reduce the effectiveness of this medicine. If you must take antacids, take between meals at least 2 hours after you have taken this medicine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid excessive consumption (more than 1 litre a day) of grapefruit juice.
Avoid alcohol. Consuming large amount of alcohol is damaging to your liver.
Avoid St. John’s wort and red yeast rice.
It is important for you to maintain a healthy, low-fat and balance diet.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.