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Atorvastatin is a medication used to treat high cholesterol and prevent heart disease. It works by blocking an enzyme that is needed for the body to make cholesterol. Atorvastatin is in a class of drugs known as statins, which also includes rosuvastatin (Crestor), simvastatin (Zocor), and pravastatin (Pravachol). Statins are generally considered to be the most effective class of drugs for lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. They are usually well-tolerated, but some people may experience side effects such as muscle pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
The most common side effects of atorvastatin are gastrointestinal, such as abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Other common side effects include headache, myalgia (muscle pain), and fatigue.
The recommended starting dose for adults with high cholesterol is 10-20 mg daily. The dose may be adjusted based on your response to treatment. Generally, atorvastatin should be taken at bedtime or with an evening meal. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take double doses.
While taking atorvastatin, it is important to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice. Grapefruit can increase the level of atorvastatin in your blood and increase the risk of side effects. Other foods to avoid include fatty foods, as they can decrease the efficacy of the medication, and alcohol, as it can increase the risk of liver damage. If you are unsure about whether a food is safe to eat while taking atorvastatin, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
It is generally well-tolerated, but like all medications, it carries the risk of side effects. These side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own. However, if you experience any severe side effects, or if the side effects persist or worsen, you should stop taking atorvastatin and talk to your doctor. You should also stop taking atorvastatin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have any questions about whether or not you should take atorvastatin, please speak with your doctor.
Yes. Calcium is combined with atorvastatin to help improve drug stability.
Atorvastatin works by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making cholesterol.