What is Lipitor?
Lipitor is a high cholesterol treatment made by Pfizer. It belongs to the statin category of medicine, and works by interfering with the processes which produce cholesterol. It is designed to be used alongside a cholesterol-lowering diet and exercise. Typically, a doctor will begin a course of this drug on a low dose of 10mg per day, and then adjust this after a period of time if necessary, according to its effectiveness.
- Pfizer branded medication
- Proficient at lowering cholesterol
- Available in a range of doses
High cholesterol is not a condition which results in immediate outwardly symptoms, but it can be a catalyst for heart and circulation problems. These can sometimes become serious, potentially leading to a heart attack or a stroke. A number of lifestyle factors can be conducive to high cholesterol, including a person’s dietary habits (for instance, if they eat a lot of fatty food or saturates), alcohol consumption, whether or not someone smokes, or a lack of exercise. It can sometimes be a secondary effect of a medical condition, such as diabetes; and it is also thought that some may be more predisposed to it than others if they have a family history of it.
What many people don’t know about cholesterol is that, when present in lower amounts, it works in the body as a form of nutrient; actually playing an essential part in the formation of healthy cell tissue. Although cholesterol can be found in varying amounts in certain foods, it is the liver which is largely responsible for its production in the body. This then combines with proteins to form a compound called lipoproteins, which carry these fats around the body through the bloodstream, transporting cholesterol to the areas of the body that need it.
However, when these fats have an overabundant presence in the body, they can gather and collect in the arteries, and obstruct the flow of blood. This can then result in the above described heart and circulation issues.
Atorvastatin, which is the functioning constituent in Lipitor, works by preventing the action of an enzyme in the liver, which is responsible for the production of cholesterol. By inhibiting this operation, Lipitor lowers levels of cholesterol in the body.
Lipitor 10mg tablets and chewable
Typically, 10mg is prescribed as an initiation dose. In addition, prior to commencing treatment, a doctor will advise a patient to follow a reduced-cholesterol diet. This particular dose is available as a standard tablet or as a chewable tablet.
Lipitor 20mg tablets and chewable
In some cases, a doctor may choose to increase the dose to 20mg. They may do this if the 10mg dose is not having the desired effect. Dose increases will be carried out by a prescriber in four week increments. The 20mg dose is also available in chewable form.
The 40mg dose is only available in standard tablet form. It may be prescribed in cases where the 20mg dose has not been sufficient.
This is the highest possible dose of Lipitor, and is again only available as a regular tablet. This will only be issued in those cases where the lower doses have failed to produce the desired result.
Please note that this treatment is not available to buy through our site. We recommend you contact your GP to renew your prescription for this product.
When using this product, it is vital to adhere to the instructions provided in the patient information leaflet, and to take it in the manner your doctor has prescribed. This will help to reduce the chances of potential side effects, and maximise the efficacy of the medication.
- Take this drug as directed by your doctor.
- In most cases, the starting dose will be 10mg, once a day.
- Your doctor may adjust this after a period of four weeks or more.
- The maximum daily dose is 80mg.
- You will likely be advised to have your cholesterol levels checked at regular intervals while administering this product.
- Lipitor film-coated tablets should be swallowed whole with water.
- The chewable tablets can be chewed prior to swallowing, or taken with water.
- Do not take more than the amount prescribed by your consultant.
- If you miss a dose, do not attempt to redress this by taking a double dose. Simply skip the administration you have missed, and carry on the course as normal.
The above do not constitute detailed directions, and only form a summary of those you will need to follow when taking this medication. Refer to the patient information leaflet for more comprehensive instructions.
Download Lipitor patient information leaflet
Not everyone who uses this drug will experience side effects, but it remains important to be aware of the nature of these so that you can take the appropriate action in the event that they occur.
Tell your doctor right away if you notice anything resembling: an allergic reaction; severe skin problems, such as peeling, blistering, or blotches; muscle weakness, tenderness or pain; or liver problems. Refer to the patient information leaflet for more on these.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Nasal inflammation, pain in the throat, nose bleed, rise in blood sugar levels, headache, feeling sick, constipation, wind, indigestion, diarrhoea, joint, muscular or back pain, or abnormal liver function tests.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Loss of appetite, weight fluctuations, drop in blood sugar levels, insomnia, dizziness, altered sensation in the fingers and toes, change in sense of taste, memory loss, sight or hearing problems, being sick, stomach pain, pancreatitis, hepatitis, rash, hair loss, neck pain, fatigue, chest pain, oedema, or raised temperature.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Unexpected bleeding or bruising, or cholestasis.
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Allergic reaction, or gynecomastia.
This is only a summary of the side effects this drug may result in. A more detailed account of these can be located in the leaflet supplied.
Taking it with other medicines
Disclose any information relating to other treatments you are currently taking to your prescriber. Lipitor may interact with the following: ciclosporin; antibiotics or antifungal medicines such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole, posaconazole, rifampin, fusidic acid; other lipid regulators, for instance, gemfibrozil, fibrates, colestipol; calcium channel blockers like amlodipine or diltiazem; heart rhythm regulators such as digoxin, verapamil or amiodarone; antivirals, for example ritonavir, lopinavir, atazanavir, indinavir, darunavir, tipranavir or telaprevir; other treatments for high cholesterol; warfarin; oral contraceptives; stiripentol; cimetidine; phenazone; colchicine; antacids; or St John’s Wort.
Conditions to look out for
The presence of some illnesses may mean that this drug is not suitable for you. Do not use it if you have or have ever had: liver disease; abnormal liver function tests; or if you are a woman able to have children who is using less than fully reliable contraception.
Your doctor also needs to know if you have or have ever had any of the following, as they may choose not to issue Lipitor or only issue it with special care: liver or kidney problems; stroke; an underactive thyroid gland; or repeated or unexplained muscular aches or pains. It may also not be suitable for you if you regularly drink large quantities of alcohol or are over 70 years of age.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medication should not be used by anyone who is pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
If any of the above applies to you, do not take this medication and speak to your doctor.
Patients are advised to use adequate contraceptive measures when taking this treatment.
Driving and using machinery
Do not drive or use machinery if you experience any side effects that may make it difficult to do so, such as dizziness.
Food, drink or alcohol
Large quantities of grapefruit juice or alcohol may interact with this medication. See the leaflet for more details.
If you are over 70
Your doctor may need to conduct further tests to ensure this treatment is suitable for you.
Can I still drink alcohol?
The consumption of alcohol in high amounts is not recommended if you have raised cholesterol levels, and is therefore not advised when using this treatment.
If you drink grapefruit juice, do not drink more than one or two glasses per day as this may interfere with the way Lipitor works.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. Your judgment and motor skills are not likely to be affected. But, if you notice any side effects which may inhibit your capacity to drive, you should refrain from doing so and let your doctor know right away.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It should not be used by anyone who is or thinks they might be pregnant, or is breastfeeding.
How should I store it?
Store out of the reach of children and at room temperature.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Lipitor tablets consist of: atorvastatin, calcium carbonate, microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, croscarmellose sodium, polysorbate 80, hyprolose and magnesium stearate, hypromellose, macrogol 8000, titanium dioxide (E171), talc, simethicone, stearate emulsifiers, thickeners, benzoic acid and sorbic acid.
Lipitor chewable tablets are also available to buy from our UK pharmacy. These contain: atorvastatin, calcium carbonate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, polysorbate 80, hydroxypropyl cellulose, amylum pregelificatum, mannitol, aspartame, sucralose, grape flavour and magnesium stearate.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You will need a prescription to be able to buy Lipitor online in the UK.
Is it right for me?
Your GP will advise you on treatment options during your regular review, and issue a prescription for a suitable medication where necessary.
We do not sell this medicine through our site. Contact your GP if you are looking to renew your prescription for high cholesterol treatment.
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