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Atorvastatin

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About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 18/11/2019 Next review: 18/05/2020

What is Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is part of a group of medications called statins which are designed to lower cholesterol. It can also help to prevent the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes, so you may be prescribed Atorvastatin if you or your family have suffered from long-term health problems in the past.

Atorvastatin comes in tablet form and be available as a chewable tablet if you have difficulty swallowing. It is a prescription-only medicine, as it may have some adverse reactions in those who suffer from other conditions.

What is High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is a common condition that can occur in a wide range of people. It can affect fit, healthy people in the same way as those with a high BMI and inactive lifestyle. While the causes are wide-ranging, it is frequently associated with a genetic predisposition, as well as eating an unhealthy diet and lack of appropriate exercise. These factors can cause a fatty substance, called cholesterol, to build up in the arteries around your body.

High cholesterol can be dangerous if left untreated because it can lead to a hardening of the arteries, as well as causing your arteries to become narrower (this process is referred to as atherosclerosis). When this happens, it can be harder for the blood to flow around the body. The lack of circulation caused by cholesterol can therefore lead to further complications, such as an increased risk of heart disease and strokes.


How does Atorvastatin work?

Atorvastatin, like all statins, works by reducing or stopping the production of cholesterol in the body. They do this by blocking the enzyme which creates cholesterol and helping the body to reabsorb the level of cholesterol currently in your body.

If you have high cholesterol, the Atorvastatin can help to reduce the level of cholesterol in your arteries by reabsorbing the cholesterol which has built up over time. This can allow your blood to flow as normal, reducing your risk of heart disease and strokes.


How do I take Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin comes as a tablet and will need to be swallowed, with or without food. It should be taken at the same time, each day and must be taken exactly as prescribed. Many users will need to be placed on a smaller dose at first, with this dosage being gradually increased over time – usually at a rate of every 4 weeks or longer.

The dose you receive will depend on your age, severity of the levels of cholesterol and any other medical conditions you may have. The most common strengths to be prescribed range from 10mg to 80mg, and they should always be taken once a day, with water as per your prescription.

Your doctor may prescribe Atorvastatin alongside a cholesterol absorption inhibitor, such as Ezetimibe.

It is important to always follow the advice given by the prescribing doctor, and any questions you may have can usually be answered in the patient information leaflet (PIL). Tablets should be taken every day, even if you feel well, until you are told otherwise by your prescriber. If you are buying high cholesterol treatments online, be sure to follow the instructions given in the PIL and by the pharmacist or doctor who has prescribed them.


Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I forget to take Atorvastatin when I should?

If you are within 12 hours of the missed dose, you can take your normal dose as soon as you remember. However, if you need to take your next dose within the following 12 hours, then you should skip the dose and take your next tablets as normal.

What should I do if I take too much Atorvastatin?

If you have taken more than your prescribed dose of Atorvastatin, it is important that you call your doctor immediately. They will know your medical history and be best placed to give you appropriate advice. If you are suffering from diarrhoea, joint point, heartburn, confusion, forgetfulness or muscle weakness it is likely that you have taken too much of your Atorvastatin and you should contact your doctor.

If your symptoms are severe, then you should call 999 for an ambulance, or go to your nearest accident and emergency for treatment.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Atorvastatin?

As alcohol is likely to raise your risk of liver disease while taking Atorvastatin, it is inadvisable to drink alcohol while being treated with this medication. If you have more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day, or more than 2 units of alcohol per day, then speak with your doctor about further help with your cholesterol.

Will Atorvastatin impact my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Research has shown that the majority of people who take Atorvastatin are able to work, drive and operate machinery as normal. However, if you feel that this medication does affect you, then speak with your doctor about the side effects and about other possible treatments.

Can I buy Atorvastatin online?

Yes. Buying Atorvastatin online should, however, only be purchased from reputable, certified prescribers such as Prescription Doctor. You will be asked the same series of questions if you buy your high cholesterol treatment online as you would when you visit your local GP and a qualified prescriber will assess your needs.


Table of contents

What is Atorvastatin?

How does Atorvastatin work?

How do I take Atorvastatin?

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I forget to take Atorvastatin when I should?

What should I do if I take too much Atorvastatin?

Can I drink alcohol while taking Atorvastatin?

Will Atorvastatin affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Can I buy Atorvastatin online?

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Atorvastatin
  • Manufacturer: Pfizer
  • Active Ingredient(s): Atorvastatin calcium trihydrate
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Film-coated tablets
  • Available Strength: 10mg
  • Exemption: Prescription only
  • Dosage: One 10mg tablet taken once daily
  • Drug Class: Statin
  • Alcohol Consumption: Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
  • When Pregnant: Do not take Atorvastatin during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
  • When Breastfeeding: Do not take Atorvastatin while breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
Click here to view the Atorvastatin - Patient Information Leaflet

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