Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a special medication used for the treatment of high cholesterol levels in the blood. It works by blocking the production of bad cholesterol and reduces its amounts in the blood. High cholesterol is a serious disease that can lead to a number of serious conditions, such as heart disease and a stroke. It cannot be treated with just a drug, and this is why taking Lipitor is associated with following a special diet plan and other requirements your doctor provided.
- What you need to discuss with your health care provider before taking Lipitor
Conditions that need to be reported to your doctor include underactive thyroid, kidney disease, diabetes, a history of liver disease, or a muscle disorder. This drug is not intended for children younger than 10. Unless your health care provider recommended otherwise, you are not supposed to take this medication more often than once a day. This is going to be only a part of a special program that will involve exercising regularly and eating healthily. Your blood will be tested regularly to make sure Lipitor is working for you. Your liver function may also need to be tested to rule out liver damage.
- Which side effects should I be aware of?
Serious side effects of Lipitor are rare and can include muscle pain, fever or flu symptoms, nausea, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes, stomach pain, and some other ones that can be individual for every person. Less serious side effects are more likely and can include any of the following: stuffy nose, skin rash, itching, headache, constipation, bloating, gas, stomach upset, or heartburn. If you experience fever or flu symptoms, dark colored urine, muscle pain or tenderness, or muscle weakness, contact your health care provider as soon as possible, as the symptoms mentioned can indicate that you are having a condition that can lead to kidney failure and breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue.
- Lipitor drug interference
If you are taking any of the following medications at the moment of starting your treatment, make sure you report them before a dosage is prescribed: digoxin, antifungal medication, HIV or AIDS medication, cancer medicine, steroids, erythromycin, niacin, or gemfibrozil. Any other drugs or herbal products you are using must also be reported – this way you will make sure no drug interactions will occur that will make you feel bad or will make your treatment less efficient.
- Dietary requirements
When taking Lipitor you must avoid drinking alcohol, as this may result in an increase of triglyceride levels and liver damage. Try to avoid foods high in cholesterol throughout the entire period of the treatment, as Lipitor may not be efficient if you are not following a special diet plan. Make sure you follow all of the recommendations your doctor provided, as they will make your treatment more effective and will help you control the symptoms that you had.
- Who is not supposed to be taking Lipitor
Do not take Lipitor when pregnant or breastfeeding and talk to your doctor immediately if you think you may have become pregnant while taking this medication. Having a liver disease is another contraindication for taking Lipitor. This condition can make your treatment less efficient and dangerous health effects can take place, so make sure you always tell your doctor if you have any contraindications that may prevent you from enjoying your treatment and getting its full benefits. People with a history of an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients Lipitor contains are also not supposed to be taking this medication, as the same reaction is likely to happen again and you will have to seek emergency medical assistance. If you ever had an allergic reaction to this medicine, make sure you tell your doctor about it in advance, or if you are not sure some tests may be done to establish the truth.
- Lipitor overdose signs
Although an overdose is not expected to produce any life-threatening symptoms, make sure you report it to your local emergency center as soon as possible. Never take more of this medicine than prescribed by your health care provider, as this is one of the cases when the more does not necessarily mean the better. Take this medicine according to the instructions provided to make sure you do not suffer from overdose symptoms. If you have any questions about your dose – ask your doctor first.
- Storing Lipitor
Lipitor should be stored in some cool and dark place where it will not be accessed by children or other people to whom it was not prescribed. Only people with a prescription are supposed to be taking this medication after they have been examined by a health care provider. Make sure you do not store it in the bathroom, as this may affect the efficiency of the medicine itself
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