Atorvastatin Pfizer is used to lower high cholesterol levels.
Atorvastatin Pfizer is also used to help reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke in people who have high blood pressure and coronary heart disease (CHD) or who are at risk of CHD. Examples of risk factors for CHD include diabetes, a history of stroke, or small blood vessel disease.
Everyone has cholesterol in their blood. It is a type of blood fat needed by the body for many things, such as building the cell lining, making bile acids (which help to digest food) and some hormones. However, too much cholesterol can be a problem.
Cholesterol is present in many foods and is also made in your body by the liver. If your body makes too much cholesterol or you have too much cholesterol in your diet, then your level becomes too high.
High cholesterol is more likely to occur with certain diseases or if you have a family history of high cholesterol.
There are different types of cholesterol. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the 'bad' cholesterol that can block your blood vessels. HDL, or high density lipoprotein, cholesterol is the 'good' cholesterol that is thought to remove the bad cholesterol from the blood vessels.
When you have high levels of 'bad' cholesterol in your blood, it may begin to 'stick' to the inside of your blood vessels instead of being carried to the parts of the body where it is needed. Over time, this can form hard areas, also called plaque, on the walls of your blood vessels, making it more difficult for the blood to flow. Sometimes, the plaque can detach from the vessel wall and float in the bloodstream; it can then reach a smaller vessel and completely block it. This blocking of your blood vessels can lead to several types of blood vessel disease, heart attack, angina and stroke.
There is another type of blood fat called triglyceride, which is a source of energy. However, high levels of triglyceride can be associated with a low level of 'good' cholesterol and may increase your risk of heart disease.
In some patients, Atorvastatin Pfizer is used to treat high cholesterol and high triglycerides together.
In most people, there are no symptoms of abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Your doctor can measure your levels with a simple blood test.
Atorvastatin Pfizer belongs to a group of medicines called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Atorvastatin Pfizer reduces the 'bad' cholesterol and can raise the 'good' cholesterol. Atorvastatin Pfizer also helps to protect you from a heart attack or stroke.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Atorvastatin Pfizer has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Atorvastatin Pfizer is not addictive.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Do not take Atorvastatin Pfizer if you have an allergy to:
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
Do not take Atorvastatin Pfizer if you have active liver disease.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
If you are a woman of child-bearing age and are taking this medicine, use a proven method of birth control to avoid pregnancy.
The medicine may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy.
Do not breast-feed if you are taking this medicine.
The active ingredient in Atorvastatin Pfizer may pass into breast milk and affect your baby.
Do not take Atorvastatin Pfizer if you are taking the antibiotic fusidic acid which is used to treat infections.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether to start taking Atorvastatin Pfizer, talk to your doctor.
Your doctor will ask you to have your liver function tested before you start to take Atorvastatin Pfizer.
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol regularly.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking Atorvastatin Pfizer.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including:
Some medicines may be affected by Atorvastatin Pfizer or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following:
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while taking Atorvastatin Pfizer.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.
These directions may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
Your doctor will discuss with you the need to be on a diet while you are taking Atorvastatin Pfizer.
Follow your agreed diet plan carefully.
If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you need to take each day. This may depend on your condition and whether or not you are taking any other medicines.
The usual dose of Atorvastatin Pfizer is between 10-80 mg taken once a day.
Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew or crush the tablets.
Atorvastatin Pfizer can be taken at any time of the day. However, your dose of Atorvastatin Pfizer should be taken at about the same time each day.
Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you to remember when to take it.
Atorvastatin Pfizer can be taken with or without food.
Take Atorvastatin Pfizer every day and continue taking it for as long as your doctor tells you.
Atorvastatin Pfizer helps to lower your levels of cholesterol, but it does not cure your condition. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well. If you stop taking Atorvastatin Pfizer, your cholesterol levels may rise again.
If it is less than 12 hours before your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablet as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your tablets, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26 ) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Atorvastatin Pfizer. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
Your doctor will ask you to have your liver function tested from time to time while you are taking Atorvastatin Pfizer to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Your cholesterol and triglyceride levels also need to be checked regularly while you are taking this medicine.
If you become pregnant while you are taking Atorvastatin Pfizer, stop taking it and contact your doctor immediately.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Atorvastatin Pfizer.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
Do not give Atorvastatin Pfizer to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not take Atorvastatin Pfizer to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid drinking large quantities of alcohol.
Drinking large quantities of alcohol while taking Atorvastatin Pfizer may increase your chance of getting liver problems.
Avoid drinking large quantities of grapefruit juice.
Grapefruit juice contains one or more components that alter the metabolism of some medicines, including Atorvastatin Pfizer.
Drinking very large quantities (over 1.2 litres) of grapefruit juice each day while taking Atorvastatin Pfizer increases your chance of getting side effects.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Atorvastatin Pfizer affects you.
Atorvastatin Pfizer generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. However, as with many other medicines, Atorvastatin Pfizer may cause dizziness in some people.
If you feel dizzy, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Some self-help measures suggested below may assist your condition. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you more information about these measures.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Atorvastatin Pfizer.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine. They are usually mild and short-lived.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
These are serious side effects that may require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
If you take the tablets out of the blister pack they may not keep well.
Keep Atorvastatin Pfizer in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store Atorvastatin Pfizer or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave your tablets in the car or on windowsills.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep your tablets where children cannot reach them.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Atorvastatin Pfizer, or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets that are left over.
Atorvastatin Pfizer tablets are available in four strengths:
Atorvastatin Pfizer comes in blister packs of 30 tablets.
The active ingredient of Atorvastatin Pfizer is atorvastatin.
The other ingredients are:
This medicine does not contain gluten.