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Thapar M, Russo MW, Bonkovsky HL. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimate that having high cholesterol doubles the risk of heart disease. The enzyme is vital for cholesterol production. People also know it as atorvastatin. Other statins include fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin. Lipitor is approved for adults and children age 10 and up. 2015;29(4):277-91. doi:10.1007/s40263-015-0239-x, Davies JT, Delfino SF, Feinberg CE, et al. Lipitor contains lactose, so people should speak to their doctor before using it if they have a lactose intolerance. Patients who require a large reduction in LDL-C (more than 45%) may be started at 40 mg once daily. Your risk of experiencing rhabdomyolysis can increase if you are taking other medications or are older than 65.. CNS Drugs. Clin Res Cardiol. Up to 1 in 100 people may experience less common effects. Lipitor is effective at lowering cholesterol; however, its use may be limited by side … Doctors often prescribe Lipitor and other statins to treat dyslipidemia and to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) in those who are at high risk. It is also not suitable for use while breastfeeding, as it is not clear whether the drug can enter the breast milk. If a person has dyslipidemia, or hyperlipidemia, they have a high level of cholesterol, triglycerides, or both, in the blood. The standard starting dose for adults is 10 to 20 mg. Those who require at least a 45% reduction in LDL cholesterol may be begin with a 40-mg dose. Lipitor is highly effective at treating people with a high risk of these diseases. Physiother Can. Bottom Line. While you are taking Lipitor, your doctor will have you come in periodically for blood tests to monitor your cholesterol levels and to check if your dosage needs to be adjusted. The first person to synthesize Lipitor was Bruce Roth, in 1985. High: 160 mg/dL or higher. Simvastatin and pravastatin were more well-tolerated in the study, yet not as potent or effective at lowering cholesterol as atorvastatin or rosuvastatin. Fluvastatin and lovastatin are additional low-potency options. Researchers have discovered a cell mechanism in which cholesterol influences the proliferation of stem cells and the growth of intestinal tumors in…. Lipitor is its brand name. If you are experiencing any side effects from taking Lipitor that become prolonged or bothersome, you should let your healthcare provider know. It is quickly absorbed, reaching its peak concentration in the blood within about two hours. Lipitor starts to lower cholesterol within about two weeks of starting the medication. Patients with HIV or a bacterial infection, such as tuberculosis (TB), may also benefit from the potential effects of these drugs on the immune system. This may include the following: Lipitor can cause liver problems, so tell your healthcare provider if you drink alcohol daily. Lipitor is an adjunct therapy to diet and is typically prescribed in cases where lifestyle changes (diet, physical activity) or other medications are not effective in lowering cholesterol. Changing lifelong eating habits can be scary at first, but our guide will make it easier. According to the CDC, in 2011–2012, nearly 28 percent of adults aged 40 years and over were using some kind of prescription drug to lower cholesterol. If you take too much Lipitor or overdose, seek immediate medical care. Lipitor can cause muscle myopathy (muscle disease that causes muscle aches or weakness) and rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown). The name of this is dyslipidemia, or hyperlipidemia. doi:10.3138/ptc.2012-65. Statin capsules include Lescol (fluvastatin) and Ezallor (rosuvastatin), and there is an oral suspension option called FloLipid (simvastatin). Cholesterol and triglycerides can clog blood vessels and increase heart disease risks. If you have certain medical conditions, you should not take Lipitor. Each type of statin has unique interactions with other medications and risks of side effects, so your doctor will take into account what other medications you're on, how elevated your cholesterol levels are, and what other conditions you have when determining which statin to prescribe., Other types of statin tablets include Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Zocar (simvastatin), and Livalo (pitavastatin). Regardless if you take a statin or not, lifestyle changes are necessary to reduce the risk of heart disease. Low: 39 mg/dL or lower. Highlights of prescribing information: Lipitor. If you have a history of heart attacks or you're at a very high risk of a heart attack or stroke, you may need to aim even lower (below 70 mg/dL, or 1.8 mmol/L). These can happen when cholesterol accumulates in the blood vessels. Statins lower cholesterol levels in the blood by blocking 3-hydroxy-3methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase, an enzyme that's needed for the liver to produce cholesterol. There are multiple types of statins and Lipitor is one of the more potent options. If you are taking any of these drugs with Lipitor, your healthcare provider may need to adjust your dose, monitor you more closely for side effects, or discontinue one of the drugs:. In 2016, one source described Lipitor as the “Best-selling drug of all time.”. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include muscle soreness/weakness and dark urine. That's because, in addition to lowering lipids (fats), Lipitor and other statins appear to have some novel effects such as influencing immune responses, enhancing anti-inflammatory processes, and altering additional signaling pathways that aren't yet fully understood. 2016;105(9):783-90. doi:10.1007/s00392-016-0991-z, Pihl-Jensen G, Tsakiri A, Frederiksen JL. Statins stop the body from producing bad cholesterol by suppressing an enzyme in the liver, called HMG-CoA reductase. Statins like Lipitor are sometimes prescribed off-label to try to stop the progression of autoimmune or chronic inflammatory diseases, such as secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).. What are the side effects of Lipitor? There have also been cases of rhabdomyolysis that lead to kidney problems, including kidney failure, while taking Lipitor. Lipid Insights. If you experience any signs of allergic reaction, seek urgent medical attention. Study sheds light, Cholesterol deposits in the eyes: Symptoms and treatment, those with a personal or significant family history of CVD, medications that change the way the immune system works, including some. A number of medications can interact with Lipitor. All rights reserved. Lipitor can be taken with or without food. Do not take two doses at once. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Put Down the Grapefruit Juice, Atorvastatin treatment and LDL cholesterol target attainment in patients at very high cardiovascular risk, Statin treatment in multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Current and emerging uses of statins in clinical therapeutics: a review, Highlights of prescribing information: Lipitor, Statin-induced rhabdomyolysis: a comprehensive review of case reports, Effect of high-potency statins on HbA1c in patients with or without diabetes mellitus, Low-density lipoprotein (LDL, considered "bad" cholesterol), Apolipoprotein B (apo B, a protein involved in the metabolism of lipids that is also part of lipoproteins, such as LDL), Swollen/sore nasal passages and the back of your throat (nasopharyngitis), Unexplained muscle aches, weakness, or soreness, Severe metabolic, endocrine, and electrolyte disorders. Patients who use Lipitor should not consume more than 1–2 small glasses of grapefruit juice in a day, because this can affect how the drug works. If it does, it could harm the infant. For example, it may be used for people with primary hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels due to genetic factors) or mixed dyslipidemia (both triglycerides and cholesterol levels are high). An overview, Everything you need to know about coming off statins, Statins increase the risk of developing diabetes in at-risk people, How does high cholesterol cause cancer? HDL. Lipitor is not suitable during pregnancy, as it can affect the development of the unborn child and may be harmful to the fetus. If you have any of the following conditions, your healthcare provider may decide to start you on a lower dose of Lipitor and will need to monitor you to determine whether or not taking Lipitor will be potentially harmful to you: Lipitor may also need to be temporarily withheld or discontinued with certain conditions that can lead to myopathy or kidney failure with rhabdomyolysis. Current and emerging uses of statins in clinical therapeutics: a review. This was an increase of nearly 8 percent since 2003. While some drugs pose minor interaction risks, others may outright contraindicate use or prompt careful consideration as to whether the pros of treatment outweigh the cons in your case. © 2004-2020 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. Lipitor belongs to a class of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, commonly known as statins. This question has received a great deal of attention. Effect of high-potency statins on HbA1c in patients with or without diabetes mellitus. Lipitor may give rise to a number of side effects. Never increase your dose without your doctor's OK. It can also raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL, considered "good" cholesterol). These affect the circulation outside the heart and the brain. Lipitor should always be taken in conjunction with a diet to lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. The recommended starting dose of LIPITOR is 10 or 20 mg once daily. It is also one of the most commonly prescribed lipid-lowering medications in the United States. Alan Carter, PharmD Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. Aim to keep this "bad" cholesterol under 100 mg/dL, or 2.6 mmol/L. Due to this link, statins such as Lipitor are also commonly prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and angina in people with heart disease or those who have multiple risk factors for developing heart disease.. All listed dosages are according to the drug manufacturer. In these cases, your healthcare provider may place you on a different treatment to lower your lipids: Talk to your doctor about all medications, supplements, and vitamins that you currently take. What are the common themes of cholesterol-cutting diets? Lipitor can also increase blood sugar levels, and it can affect liver function in up to 1 in 10 people. Cholesterol can deposit around the eyes and form fatty, yellow lumps. Some people experience allergic reactions to atorvastatin. CVD is the leading cause of illness and death in the United States. However, are these fears unfounded? You should let your healthcare provider know these can lower LDL, the “ bad ” cholesterol! `` good '' cholesterol ) producers did not think the drug manufacturer, SF. Be very popular, and they almost stopped development taking Lipitor that become prolonged bothersome!, Tanaka S, Yasukawa Y, et al for use while breastfeeding, as it also. 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