Atorvastatin is in a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or "statins." Atorvastatin reduces levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL). Atorvastatin is used to treat high cholesterol, and to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors. Atorvastatin is used in adults and children who are at least 10 years old. Atorvastatin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide
You should not take atorvastatin if you are allergic to it, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease. Stop taking atorvastatin and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Before taking atorvastatin, tell your doctor if you have a thyroid disorder, muscle pain or weakness, a history of liver or kidney disease, or if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily.
In rare cases, atorvastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can react adversely with over 85 prescription medications. Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Atorvastatin will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.
There are many other drugs that can increase your risk of serious medical problems if you take them together with atorvastatin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.
Atorvastatin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take atorvastatin if you are allergic to it, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease. To make sure you can safely take atorvastatin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- history of liver disease;
- history of kidney disease;
- muscle pain or weakness;
- a thyroid disorder; or
- if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily.