Chemical Name: ATORVASTATIN (a-TORE-va-sta-tin)
This medicine is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (also known as a "statin") used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. It may also be used to reduce your risk of heart attack, blood vessel blockage, or chest pain, or to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with this medicine. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are also taking another medicine that contains atorvastatin. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are also taking azole antifungals such as itraconazole or ketoconazole, or HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir or ritonavir. If you are currently taking any of these medicines, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting this medicine. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are taking gemfibrozil. ADDITIONAL MONITORING OF YOUR DOSE OR CONDITION may be needed if you are taking fibrates (such as clofibrate or fenofibrate), amiodarone, cyclosporine, certain macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or troleandomycin), digoxin, diltiazem, fluconazole, high doses of niacin (1 gram or more per day), nefazodone, spironolactone, cimetidine, imatinib, bosentan, St. John's wort, verapamil, voriconazole, dalfopristin, or quinupristin. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions including heart disease, muscle problems, alcohol use, allergies (especially to other "statin" or cholesterol-lowering medicines), pregnancy, or breast-feeding. Certain medical conditions including low blood pressure; severe infection; uncontrolled seizures; or serious metabolic, endocrine, or electrolyte problems may increase your risk for side effects that can result in kidney problems while taking this medicine. Contact your doctor if you develop any of these conditions. USE OF THIS MEDICINE IS NOT RECOMMENDED if you have a history of liver disease or abnormal liver function test results. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about taking this medicine.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine may be taken on an empty stomach or with food. Try to take this medicine at the same time each day. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice at the same time you take this medicine. STORE THIS MEDICINE at room temperature between 68 to 77 degrees F (20 to 25 degrees C) in a tightly-closed container, away from heat and light. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do NOT take 2 doses at once.
DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you have had an allergic reaction to it or are allergic to any ingredient in this product. FOLLOW THE DIETARY PLAN provided by your doctor. IT MAY TAKE SEVERAL WEEKS before the full benefits of this medicine can be seen. IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE TAKING THIS MEDICINE even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick. LABORATORY AND/OR MEDICAL TESTS such as blood cholesterol levels or liver function tests may be done before you begin taking this medicine and during treatment to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. KEEP ALL DOCTOR AND LABORATORY APPOINTMENTS while you are using this medicine. BEFORE HAVING ANY KIND OF SURGERY, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine. DAILY USE OF ALCOHOL may increase your chance for serious side effects. Limit alcoholic beverages. THIS MEDICINE MAY CAUSE DIZZINESS. DO NOT DRIVE, OPERATE MACHINERY, OR DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS until you know how you react to this medicine. Using this medicine alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol, may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks. THIS MEDICINE MAY INFREQUENTLY cause muscle damage. Untreated, this can lead to kidney damage and a very serious condition known as rhabdomyolysis. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if they occur with fever or unusual tiredness. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking this medicine may increase the amount of this medicine in your blood, which may increase your risk for serious side effects. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are taking this medicine. BEFORE YOU BEGIN TAKING ANY NEW MEDICINE, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. CAUTION IS ADVISED WHEN USING THIS MEDICINE IN THE ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medicine. FOR WOMEN: DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE if you are pregnant. IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOU COULD BE PREGNANT, contact your doctor immediately. It is recommended that women of child-bearing age use effective birth control measures while taking this medicine, since it may cause fetal harm. THIS MEDICINE IS EXCRETED IN BREAST MILK. DO NOT BREAST-FEED while taking this medicine.
Possible side effects
SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while taking this medicine include dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, gas, or stomach upset/pain. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience joint pain, chest pain, or swelling in the arms or legs. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially with fever or unusual tiredness); yellowing eyes and skin; dark urine; change in the amount of urine; pale stools; or severe stomach pain. AN ALLERGIC REACTION to this medicine is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
If you take too much
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
FOR BEST RESULTS, this medicine should be used along with exercise, a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet, and a weight loss program if you are overweight. FOLLOW THE DIETARY PLAN provided by your doctor. DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others for whom it was not prescribed. DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions. KEEP THIS MEDICINE out of the reach of children and pets. IF USING THIS MEDICINE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, obtain refills before your supply runs out.