What is Lipitor?Lipitor is in a class of drugs called "statins," which are used to lower cholesterol in your blood when a low-fat diet is not enough. Lipitor lowers the "bad" low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood and raises the "good" high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
What is the most important information I should know about Lipitor?Taking Lipitor is not a substitute for following a healthy low-fat and low-cholesterol diet and exercising to lower your cholesterol.
Do not take Lipitor if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or if you are planning to become pregnant.
Because of the risk of developing liver disease, your doctor may want to monitor the health of your liver before and 12 weeks after starting you on Lipitor.
Some people may develop more serious side effects while taking Lipitor. These side effects may include severe muscle problems that can sometimes lead to kidney problems, including kidney failure.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: muscle problems such as weakness, tenderness, or pain that happens without a good reason, especially if you also have a fever or feel more tired than usual; nausea and vomiting; passing brown or dark-colored urine; stomach pain; and your skin and whites of your eyes become yellow.
Who should not take Lipitor?Do not take Lipitor if you currently have liver disease or are allergic to Lipitor or any of its ingredients.
Do not take Lipitor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Lipitor?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Lipitor. Be sure to tell your doctor if you take medicines for any of the following: birth control, cholesterol, heart failure, HIV or AIDS, infections, or the immune system. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you drink more than two glasses of alcohol daily, or if you have diabetes. Tell your doctor if you have muscle aches or weakness, or problems with your kidney, liver, or thyroid.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults >17 years: The usual starting dose of Lipitor is 10 or 20 milligrams (mg) taken once daily, with a maximum dose of 80 mg a day.
Lipitor starts to work in about 2 weeks. Your cholesterol levels will be checked during treatment with Lipitor, and your dosage may be changed based on the results.
Children and adolescents 10-17 years: The usual dose is 10 mg daily, with a maximum dose of 20 mg daily. Adolescent girls must be having periods before taking Lipitor.
How should I take Lipitor?Your doctor will likely start you on a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet before giving you Lipitor. Stay on this diet while taking the medication.
Do not break Lipitor tablets before you take them. Take Lipitor each day at any time of day at about the same time each day. Lipitor can be taken with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking Lipitor?Do not get pregnant or take the medication while breastfeeding. If you do get pregnant, stop taking Lipitor right away and call your doctor.
Avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking Lipitor.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Lipitor?If Lipitor is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lipitor with any of the following: antacids, cimetidine, clarithromycin, colestipol, cyclosporine, digoxin, erythromycin, fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ketoconazole, niacin, birth control pills, and spironolactone.
What are the possible side effects of Lipitor?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: constipation, diarrhea, gas, headache, muscle and joint pain, rash, stomach pain, upset stomach
Can I receive Lipitor if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Lipitor may cause harm to an unborn or newborn baby, and should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Lipitor?Take a missed dose of Lipitor as soon as possible. If it has been more than 12 hours since you missed your last dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Lipitor?Store at room temperature.
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