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Atorvastatin is a medication that falls under the category of statins. Its main job is to lower the levels of fats, like cholesterol and triglycerides, in your blood. Taking atorvastatin can help prevent heart problems like heart attacks and strokes, particularly in people who have a higher risk due to conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
This medicine works by reducing how much cholesterol your body makes. Less cholesterol in your blood means there’s a smaller chance of it building up in your arteries, which can block blood flow.
How You Should Take Atorvastatin
Always read the prescription label before starting atorvastatin and when you refill your prescription. If you’re unsure about anything, just ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take atorvastatin by mouth, usually once every day. You can take it with or without food. It’s important to keep taking it regularly, even if you feel fine since high cholesterol doesn’t usually make you feel sick.
Your doctor will decide how much you need to take based on your health, age, and any other medicines you might be taking.
Possible Side Effects
You might notice some side effects like:
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Feeling tired
- Joint pain
- Forgetfulness or memory loss
These usually aren’t too serious and don’t last long. But if they keep bothering you or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
Sometimes, though it’s rare, atorvastatin can cause more serious muscle problems. If you start feeling really tired, have muscle or chest pain, or notice your urine is dark, tell your doctor straight away.
Most people who take this medicine don’t have serious side effects, and your doctor has given it to you because they think it will help you more than it might hurt you.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Taking Atorvastatin
Tell your doctor if you’re allergic to atorvastatin, and talk about any other allergies you have. Also, share your medical history, especially if you have had liver or kidney problems or if you drink a lot of alcohol.
You should drink less alcohol when taking this medicine, as too much can cause liver issues. Don’t do things that need you to be alert, like driving, until you know how the medicine affects you.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about whether you should take atorvastatin. It can affect the baby.
How Atorvastatin Can Interact with Other Medicines
Other medicines might affect how atorvastatin works, so tell your doctor about everything you’re taking. Don’t start or stop any medicine without getting the go-ahead from your doctor.
Medicines that can interact with atorvastatin include:
- Certain HIV medicines
What to Do If You Take Too Much
If someone has taken too much atorvastatin and is having serious problems like fainting or trouble breathing, get emergency help. Symptoms of taking too much can include feeling really dizzy or having trouble breathing.
If You Forget to Take a Dose
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is almost due, just skip the one you missed. Don’t take two doses at once to make up for it.