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What is lipitor 10mg: Lipitor Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing

Lipitor Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing


Atorvastatin is used along with a proper diet to help lower “bad” cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise “good” cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as “statins.” It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and raising “good” cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.In addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.

How to use Lipitor

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking atorvastatin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take atorvastatin at least 1 hour before or at least 4 hours after taking these medications. These products can react with atorvastatin, preventing its full absorption.

Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.

It is very important to continue to follow your doctor’s advice about diet and exercise. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.

Side Effects

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very small number of people taking atorvastatin may have mild memory problems or confusion. If these rare effects occur, talk to your doctor.

Rarely, statins may cause or worsen diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.

This drug may rarely cause muscle problems (which can rarely lead to very serious conditions called rhabdomyolysis and autoimmune myopathy). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms during treatment and if these symptoms last after your doctor stops this drug: muscle pain/tenderness/weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).

This medication may rarely cause liver problems. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of liver problems, including: nausea/vomiting that doesn’t stop, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.


Before taking atorvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with atorvastatin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially muscle problems.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


See also How to Use section.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: daptomycin, gemfibrozil.

Other medications can affect the removal of atorvastatin from your body, which may affect how atorvastatin works. Examples include glecaprevir plus pibrentasvir, telithromycin, ritonavir, among others.

Do not take any red yeast rice products while you are taking atorvastatin because some red yeast rice products may also contain a statin called lovastatin. Taking atorvastatin and red yeast rice products together can increase your risk of serious muscle and liver problems.

Does Lipitor interact with other drugs you are taking?

Enter your medication into the WebMD interaction checker


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Do not share this medication with others.

Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels, liver function) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.


Lipitor 80 mg tablet

Color: whiteShape: ellipticalImprint: PD 158 80

This medicine is a white, elliptical, film-coated, tablet imprinted with “PD 158” and “80”.

Lipitor 20 mg tablet

Color: whiteShape: ellipticalImprint: PD 156 20

This medicine is a white, elliptical, film-coated, tablet imprinted with “PD 158” and “80”.

Lipitor 10 mg tablet

Color: whiteShape: ellipticalImprint: PD 155 10

This medicine is a white, elliptical, film-coated, tablet imprinted with “PD 158” and “80”.

Lipitor 40 mg tablet

Color: whiteShape: ellipticalImprint: 40 PD 157

This medicine is a white, elliptical, film-coated, tablet imprinted with “PD 158” and “80”.


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Drug Survey

Are you currently using Lipitor?

This survey is being conducted by the WebMD marketing sciences department.

Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Uses, How to Take It, Dietary Tips & Potential Complications

Lipitor, which is sold under the generic name atorvastatin calcium, is Pfizer’s premier cholesterol-lowering drug. With cumulative sales that exceed $148 billion, Lipitor holds the coveted status of the world’s top-selling prescription drug of all time.

Lipitor is a prescription drug used to lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart and blood vessel problems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the medication in 1996. Its active ingredient is atorvastatin calcium.

Lipitor blocks HMG-CoA reductase, a liver enzyme the body needs to produce low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. By lowering the amount of LDL in the blood, the medication prevents atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque deposits accumulate on the inner walls of arteries, causing them to stiffen and narrow. In turn, this reduces the risk of atherosclerosis complications like heart attack, stroke, chest pain and aneurysms.

The medicine can also raise levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, which protects against heart attack. Some experts believe HDL can carry plaque away from arteries to the liver, which helps to slow its buildup and prevent dangerous blockages in blood flow.

Lipitor is the most popular and most potent member of the statin family of drugs, which is the most widely prescribed class of medications in the United States. Pfizer Inc. manufacturers the billion-dollar drug. A 2022 market report noted that Lipitor generated nearly two billion U.S. dollars in revenue during 2019 alone.

Approved Uses

Doctors commonly prescribe Lipitor together with diet, weight loss and exercise to lower cholesterol and help stave off cardiovascular disease in people with multiple risk factors other than pre-existing coronary heart disease.

The FDA approved Lipitor for this use based on clinical trials. In one clinical trial called the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT), researchers investigated atorvastatin’s ability to prevent heart disease in more than 10,000 at-risk patients. The drug was found to reduce the risk of fatal or nonfatal cardiac events by 36 percent when compared to a placebo.

“Lipitor is for adults and children over 10 whose cholesterol does not come down enough with exercise and a low-fat diet alone.”

Patients already diagnosed with heart disease take the drug to lower their risk of having a cardiac event. For patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease, the drug can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and chest pain while also lowering the risk for heart failure surgeries and hospitalization from congestive heart failure.

The medication is also a preventative treatment option for patients with Type 2 diabetes and several risk factors for heart disease and stroke such as high blood pressure, a history of smoking and two diabetes-related conditions called retinopathy and albuminuria, which affect the eyes and kidneys, respectively.

The FDA also approved the drug for use in children and teenagers who are 10 to 17 years old and have heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition in which cholesterol cannot be removed from the body normally. If diet therapy fails, Lipitor may be used in these patients to decrease the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Triglycerides are fats that can clog blood vessels, and high levels in the blood can mean an elevated risk of stroke.

Important Information on Taking Lipitor

Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions on how to take Lipitor and how often. Never adjust your dose or stop taking the drug without first speaking with your doctor.

The medication comes in 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg tablets. The tablets are white, oval-shaped and film-coated, and should be swallowed whole.

Doctors may start patients on a low dose and then slowly up the dose, but not more than once every two to four weeks. The recommended starting dose is 10 mg to 20 mg once daily. The medicine takes about two weeks to start working.


Lipitor comes in four strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg.

It’s normal for a doctor to order blood tests to check cholesterol levels during treatment. He or she may adjust the dose based on the test results.

The drug label says patients can take the medication during the day or at night, though it recommends they take it at the same time every day. You do not need to take the medicine with food, but you can if you want to.

If you forget to take a dose at your normal time, take it as soon as you think of it, but don’t take two doses at the same time. If more than 12 hours have passed since you missed your last dose, then wait to take the pill at your scheduled time. If you take too much of the medication, call your doctor or Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest hospital or emergency room.

Dietary Dos and Don’ts

When taking Lipitor, it’s important to follow the exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. Typically, patients who take the medication are told to eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people looking to lower their cholesterol have:

  • Less than 7 percent of daily calories from saturated fat
  • Less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol
  • 25 percent to 35 percent of daily calories from total fat

The drug’s label warns users to avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking the drug. This means users should not drink more than 1.2 liters of grapefruit juice per day. Grapefruit juice contains one or more components that inhibit CYP34A, an important enzyme found in the liver, and it can increase plasma concentrations of atorvastatin.

Experts also recommend at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity such as brisk walking, but talk with your doctor to determine what is appropriate for you.

Common and Serious Side Effects

In some people, Lipitor may cause mild side effects such as diarrhea, upset stomach, and muscle and joint pain. Though rare, people have also reported memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia and confusion associated with statin use.

Serious Lipitor side effects include muscle disease called myopathy and muscle breakdown called rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure. The risk of these complications rises when patients take atorvastatin at the same time as certain antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals.

The medication can also cause liver problems, including fatal and non-fatal liver failure. Signs of liver trouble may include: feeling tired or weak; losing your appetite; experiencing belly pain on the right side of your upper abdomen; and developing yellowish skin and eyes.

Studies also link atorvastatin use to an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Thousands of people filed lawsuits against Pfizer alleging Lipitor caused their Type 2 diabetes. The Lipitor lawsuits claimed Pfizer knew about the risks but didn’t adequately warn patients and doctors.

Many of these complications can occur with all statins, which raises serious safety concerns about the drug class as a whole.

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Liver Problems and Allergic Reactions

People who are allergic to Lipitor or any of its ingredients should not take the medication, according to the drug’s label. Neither should people with liver problems.

The label also advises against taking the drug while pregnant or breastfeeding. Atorvastatin may harm an unborn baby, and the medicine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.


Because Lipitor reduces the synthesis of cholesterol and potentially other biological substances derived from cholesterol, the drug may cause fetal harm if taken by pregnant women.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration

According to the label, women should stop taking the drug right away if they find out they are pregnant. Studies have not established the safety of the drug in pregnant women, and expectant mothers get no benefit from lipid-reducing drugs, the label states.

Before the FDA replaced its pregnancy risk letter categories in 2015, it had deemed Lipitor as Pregnancy Category X, indicating that the risks involved with use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh the potential benefits. Pregnancy Category X means studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/ or there is evidence of fetal risk based on human experience.

Lipitor Facts

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.



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Lipitor: what is it – AMO Academy News