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What is Atorvastatin?
Atorvastatin is a high cholesterol treatment medication that belongs to a group of medicines known as statins, which are medicines that regulate lipids (fats).
How does it work?
Atorvastatin is a selective and competitive inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, the limiting enzyme responsible for the conversion of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A to mevalonate, a precursor to sterols, including cholesterol. Triglycerides and cholesterol are incorporated into very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) in the liver and released into plasma for distribution to peripheral tissues. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are formed from VLDLs and are catabolized primarily through the receptor with a high affinity for LDL (LDL receptor).
Atorvastatin reduces plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein concentrations by inhibiting liver HMG-CoA reductase and subsequent liver cholesterol biosynthesis and increasing the number of liver receptors for LDL on the cell surface, leading to increased absorption and catabolism of LDL.
Atorvastatin reduces LDL production and the number of LDL particles. Atorvastatin produces a profound and sustained increase in LDL receptor activity, along with a beneficial change in the quality of circulating LDL. Atorvastatin is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia, a population that does not habitually respond to treatment with lipid-lowering drugs.
What are the benefits of taking it?
The Atorvastatin pill is used to lower lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood when a low-fat diet and lifestyle changes alone have failed. If you are at high risk for heart disease, Atorvastatin can also be used to reduce this risk, even if your cholesterol levels are normal. During treatment, a standard low cholesterol diet should be followed.
How do I use it and its dosage?
Before starting treatment, your doctor will put you on a low cholesterol diet, which you must also follow during treatment with Atorvastatin.
The normal starting dose of the Atorvastatin tablets is 10 mg once daily in adults and children from 10 years of age. Your doctor can increase it if necessary until you reach the dose you need. Your doctor will adjust the dose at intervals of 4 weeks or more. The maximum dose of Atorvastatin is 80 mg once daily for adults and 20 mg once daily for children.
Atorvastatin tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water and can be taken at any time of the day with or without food. However, try to take your tablet every day at the same time every day.
Always take your doctor's instructions for Atorvastatin exactly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have doubts.
If you forget to take Atorvastatin
If you forget to take a dose, take the next scheduled dose at the correct time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
If you stop taking Atorvastatin
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine or want to stop treatment, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Side effects & precautions
Like all medicines, this high cholesterol med can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If you notice any of the following serious side effects, stop taking these tablets and tell your doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Rare: may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people:
- A serious allergic reaction that causes swelling of the face, tongue, and throat that can cause great difficulty in breathing.
- Serious illness with severe peeling and inflammation of the skin; blisters on the skin, mouth, genitals, and eyes, and fever. Skin rash with pink-red spots, especially on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet that can form blisters.
- Muscle weakness, tenderness, pain, or breakage, and especially if you are also feeling unwell or have a high fever, may be due to an abnormal muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis). Abnormal muscle breakdown does not always go away, even after you have stopped taking atorvastatin, and it can be life-threatening and lead to kidney problems.
Very rare: may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people:
- If you experience problems with unexpected or unusual bleeding or bruising, this may suggest a liver problem. You should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- Lupus syndrome (including skin rash, joint disorders, and effects on blood cells).
Side effects of unknown frequency:
- Constant muscle weakness.
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:
- inflammation of the nostrils, sore throat, bleeding from the nose
- allergic reactions
- increases in blood sugar levels (if you have diabetes monitor your blood sugar levels), increased blood creatine kinase
- nausea, constipation, gas, indigestion, diarrhea
- joint pain, muscle pain, and back pain
- blood test results that may show abnormal liver function
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people) include:
- anorexia (loss of appetite), weight gain, decreased blood sugar levels (if you are diabetic you should continue to monitor your blood sugar levels carefully)
- nightmares, insomnia
- dizziness, numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes, reduced sensitivity to pain or touch, changes in sense of taste, memory loss
- blurry vision
- ringing in the ears and / or head
- vomiting, belching, upper and lower abdominal pain, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas causing stomach pain)
- hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
- rash, skin rash and itching, hives, hair loss
- neck pain, muscle fatigue
- fatigue, feeling unwell, weakness, chest pain, swelling, especially in the ankles (edema), increased temperature
- positive urine tests for white blood cells
Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people) include:
- vision disturbances
- unexpected bleeding or bruising
- cholestasis (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- tendon injury
Very rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people) include:
- allergic reaction - symptoms may include sudden wheezing when breathing and pain or tightness in the chest, swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, collapse
- Hearing loss
gynecomastia (breast augmentation in men and women).
Buying Atorvastatin online.
You can buy Atorvastatin online through one of the UK’s leading online pharmacies, Pharmacy Planet. It's easy and convenient. You will need to fill out a short assessment and the item will be delivered directly to your door. If you want to buy this medication for high cholesterol online, use Pharmacy Planet, a UK pharmacy you can trust.
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