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What is Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is a statin class of drug that lowers lipid levels in the blood. It helps to minimize the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. Atorvastatin acts by inhibiting HydroxyMethylGlutaryl Coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase ? a critical enzyme required for lipid metabolism and transportation. Blocking this enzyme leads to disruption in the production of various lipid molecules, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (also known as ?bad cholesterol?), triglycerides, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and cholesterol. Atorvastatin tablets or capsules are available in 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, and 80mg strengths.

What are the uses of Atorvastatin?

Some uses and benefits of Atorvastatin:

  • Atorvastatin is primarily indicated for hypercholesterolemia, i.e., increased blood levels of total cholesterol. It is also prescribed to patients with mixed dyslipidemia and hypertriglyceridemia.
  • Atorvastatin prevents the formation of plaques in the blood vessels formed by the lipids (cholesterol, fat). Hence, it helps to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients prone to cardiovascular disease.
  • Atorvastatin is prescribed to patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) to lower risks of angina, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and congestive heart failure (CHF).
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What are the side effects of Atorvastatin?

Widespread side effects

  • Arthralgia.
  • Diarrhea,
  • Nasopharyngitis.

Common side effects

  • Nausea.
  • Heartburn.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Pain in limbs.
  • Insomnia.
  • Impaired liver function tests.

Rare side effects

  • Dyspnea.
  • Syncope.
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
  • Anaphylaxis.
  • Myopathy.

Most side effects associated with Atorvastatin resolve gradually without medical attention. However, if symptoms persist and get worse, you should immediately seek medical attention. You can also contact our medical experts for information regarding the side effects of Atorvastatin and its management.

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FAQ's

1. When to take Atorvastatin morning or night?

Atorvastatin can be taken in the day or night; however, it's recommended to take it daily at the same time for best effects. Usually, blood cholesterol levels rise at night; some doctors prescribe taking it in the evening for better results. Further, you can consult our team of medical experts for advice on the best time for you to take it.

2. Can I take magnesium with Atorvastatin?

Magnesium interacts with Atorvastatin, which inhibits the absorption of Atorvastatin, leading to its reduced effect. Magnesium is usually part of antacids and laxatives. This interaction can be avoided by maintaining a 2-3 hour gap between both medications. We recommend you consult our medical experts for advice on the use of magnesium while on Atorvastatin.

3. Should Atorvastatin be taken with food?

Usually, Atorvastatin can be taken with or without food; however, caution should be taken to avoid food rich in fats or cholesterol as this will lead to Atorvastatin inefficacy. In addition, few foods such as grapefruit could interact with Atorvastatin and increase blood levels, eventually leading to liver damage and other side effects.

4. Can I drink alcohol while taking Atorvastatin?

Although there is no evidence to support any interaction between alcohol and statins, caution should be exercised while consuming alcohol if taking Atorvastatin. Combined use of alcohol and Atorvastatin can adversely affect liver function. Alcohol is known to impair liver function, while Atorvastatin leads to abnormal liver function tests. Further, you can consult our medical experts for information on alcohol use with Atorvastatin.

5. Will Atorvastatin (cholesterol) surely lead to diabetes?

While it is true that Atorvastatin can cause a mild increase in blood sugar levels, this might not happen to everyone taking Atorvastatin. There is limited evidence to support that Atorvastatin leads to diabetes. People with diabetes and pre-diabetes need to keep a tab on their blood sugar levels, especially when on statins. You can consult our medical experts for opinions on diabetes and the use of Atorvastatin.

6. When to stop Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is a prescription medicine and should be taken as prescribed by your doctor. Depending upon your blood reports, your doctor might adjust the dose and might consider cessation. Usually, Atorvastatin, like other statins, is stopped following dose tapering, but the doctor might consider withholding if you experience any serious side effects.

7. Can Atorvastatin cause sleep problems?

Atorvastatin tends to disrupt your sleep cycle and cause sleep disturbances. Insomnia is a common sleep problem associated with Atorvastatin use; however, not everyone experiences sleep problems. You should consult your doctor if sleep disturbances persist. We also recommend you consult your team of medical experts for advice on the use of Atorvastatin and sleep management.

8. How to take Atorvastatin?

Take as recommended per your prescription. Usually, it is prescribed to be taken orally, once daily at day or night, with or without food. Atorvastatin should be taken during the same time each day to maintain appropriate blood levels for better efficacy. You can consult our team of medical consultants for recommendations on the use of Atorvastatin.

9. What is the lowest dose of Atorvastatin?

The lowest strength available for Atorvastatin is 10mg. This dose is required to induce the intended effect. However, depending on your disease condition and blood reports, your doctor might initially prescribe you higher doses and reduce later. You can contact our team for an expert medical opinion to learn about the suitable dose for you.

10. Can Atorvastatin cause high blood pressure?

Atorvastatin, like other drugs of the statin class, helps lower blood pressure. It helps avoid the narrowing of the blood vessels, resulting in low blood pressure. Some individuals might experience a sudden drop in blood pressure; however, there is no evidence to support that Atorvastatin can lead to high blood pressure. If you experience high blood pressure following Atorvastatin use, consult your doctor. Alternatively, you can consult our experts for medical advice on Atorvastatin and its effect on blood pressure.

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