Atorvastatin (Lipitor) is an inexpensive drug that lowers levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Atorvastatin may also reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with risk factors for heart disease. This drug is more popular than comparable drugs. As of 2011, it is available in generic and brand versions. Generic atorvastatin is covered by most Medicare and insurance plans, but some pharmacy coupons or cash prices may be lower. The lowest USA Rx price for the most common version of atorvastatin is around $3.60, 95% off the average retail price of $86.07.
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check-ups. You may need regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.
Your health care professional may tell you to stop taking this medicine if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medicine, contact your health care professional.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their health care professional if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.
If you are going to need surgery or other procedure, tell your doctor that you are using this medicine.
This drug is only part of a total heart-health program. Your doctor or a dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to help. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.
This medicine may cause a decrease in Co-Enzyme Q-10. You should make sure that you get enough Co-Enzyme Q-10 while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Less common or rare
Difficulty with swallowing
Muscle cramps, pain, stiffness, swelling, or weakness
Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
Tightness in the chest
Unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
Red skin lesions, often with a purple center sore
Red, irritated eyes
Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Lower back or side pain
Pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
Painful or difficult urination
Stuffy or runny nose
Abdominal or stomach pain
Belching or excessive gas
General feeling of discomfort or illness
Heartburn, indigestion, or stomach discomfort
Lack or loss of strength
Loss of appetite
Incidence not known
Black, tarry stools
Bloody or cloudy urine
Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
Difficult, burning, or painful urination
Difficulty seeing at night
Excessive muscle tone or tension
Fruit-like breath odor
Groin or scrotum pain
Inability to have or keep an erection
Increased body movements
Increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
Increased sensitivity to touch or pain
Loss of bladder control
Loss of sexual ability, drive, or desire
Menstrual bleeding occurring earlier or lasting longer than usual
Pinpoint red spots on the skin
Swollen or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
Unable to move or feel face
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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