Generic Lipitor is used, along with a cholesterol-lowering diet, to help lower cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in the blood. Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. It belongs to the group of medicines called 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors.
Take this medication orally usually once daily with or without food; or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. It may take up to 2 weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Generic Lipitor: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking Generic Lipitor and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness;
- confusion, memory problems;
- fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine;
- swelling, weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious Generic Lipitor side effects may include:
- mild muscle pain;
- diarrhea; or
- mild nausea.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
This medication is not recommended for use if you have the following medical conditions: liver problems.
Inform your doctor of your medical history, especially of: heart disease, eye problems (e.g., cataracts), thyroid problems, uncontrolled seizures, recent serious infection, recent major surgery, low blood pressure, alcohol use, and any allergies (especially to other "statin" drugs).
Daily use of alcohol may increase your chance for serious side effects. Limit alcoholic beverages. The elderly are advised to take caution when using this drug, because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is recommended that women of child-bearing age use effective birth control measures while taking this drug since atorvastatin may cause fetal harm. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast- feeding.
Many drugs can interact with Generic Lipitor. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
- birth control pills;
- cimetidine (Tagamet);
- conivaptan (Vaprisol);
- imatinib (Gleevec);
- isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
- spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide);
- an antibiotic such as dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate), telithromycin (Ketek), and others;
- an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
- heart or blood pressure medication such as digoxin (Lanoxin), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), nicardipine (Cardene), quinidine (Quin-G), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
- HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla), indinavir (Crixivan), and others; or
- any other "statin" medication such as amlodipine and atorvastatin (Caduet), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), or simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin).
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 56 and 86 degrees F (13 to 30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.