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Atorvastatin is the non-proprietary name for a statin drug more widely recognized by the brand name Lipitor. It's predominantly used to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In simpler terms, it treats high cholesterol.

Atorvastatin is generally prescribed when patients are already experiencing health problems due to high cholesterol, though it sometimes prescribed to patients at high risk of developing high cholesterol and/or health issues. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight and reducing saturated fat intake, are typically encouraged as well for Atorvastatin patients.

This product can be used in all ages, though use is rarely necessary in young children. Young children and adults who have difficulty or an aversion to swallowing whole tablets may find Lipitor chewable tablets more palatable.

The Problem with Cholesterol

Cholesterol in the human body is a complex subject. Despite the labels "good" and "bad" cholesterol, both LDL and HDL cholesterol play vital roles in health. Problems only arise when when LDL levels become imbalanced, which is often---but not always---due to poor dietary choices over the long term.

Untreated, high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to serious complications and even death:

  • Hardened arteries
  • Angina
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Atorvastatin works by inhibiting cholesterol production in the liver, so the body is forced to utilize cholesterol in the bloodstream. Eating a low-cholesterol diet is important so the existing cholesterol is reduced, rather than supplying the body with a regular influx of new cholesterol. While LDL cholesterol is important, when levels are high there's no need to be concerned about deficiencies.

Taking Atorvastatin

Atorvastatin comes in tablets, typically taken once per day. Taking tablets with food is optional; if gastrointestinal side effects are experienced, taking with food may help.

Dosage ranges from 10 to 80 mg, largely dependent on the severity of the condition:

  • Most patients start on 10 to 20 mg per day; when levels are very high dosage may start at 40 or more mg per day.
  • Lipid levels should be checked after 2 to 4 weeks of starting treatment; dosage may be adjusted.
  • Levels should be checked again every 2 to 4 weeks until the ideal dosage is found.
  • Tablets may be taken at any time of day, but should be taken at the same time each day to keep levels of the drug consistent in the body.

While symptoms such as angina may become less frequent a few weeks after treatment begins, the only way to truly tell if Atorvastatin is working is to have a cholesterol test performed at a doctor's office.

Atorvastatin is typically taken long-term, with treatment spanning years or decades, unless lifestyle changes are sufficient to control cholesterol levels. Lifestyle changes can be enough to manage the condition without medication, assuming the patient sticks to them, but are not always enough on their own.

Potential Complications

Patients with certain preexisting conditions should not take Atorvastatin without first discussing risks with a doctor:

  • History of liver or kidney disease
  • History of muscle pain or weakness
  • Thyroid disorders

The medication should not be used while pregnant or nursing.

Atorvastatin is known to interact with a variety of other medications; speak with a doctor or pharmacist before mixing treatments if unsure of the safety.

The most commonly encountered side effects are not cause for concern unless severe:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild muscle pain

Rarely more serious side effects may develop:

  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Significant increase or decrease in urination
  • Severe stomach or back pain
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Vision changes
  • Symptoms of liver damage (jaundice, clay-colored stools, dark urine, severe itching)

If the above symptoms do occur, stop taking Atorvastatin and seek medical attention.

Additional Information


10mg atorvastatin  Buy Lipitor 28 Tablets - $14.70
Online Doctor
No current Rx required
Pack Sizes Strength Price Cart
Buy Lipitor 28 TabletsGeneric 10mg $14.70 Add
Buy Lipitor 28 TabletsGeneric 20mg $16.03 Add
Buy Lipitor 28 TabletsGeneric 40mg $17.37 Add
Buy Lipitor 28 TabletsGeneric 80mg $21.38 Add
Buy Lipitor 84 TabletsGeneric 10mg $32.01 Add
Buy Lipitor 84 TabletsGeneric 20mg $33.13 Add
Buy Lipitor 84 TabletsGeneric 40mg $39.06 Add
Buy Lipitor 84 TabletsGeneric 80mg $51.49 Add

Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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