Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

Description

There is a huge variety of drugs in order to combat hypercholesterolemia today, but still the leader among them is the statins. These medications have proven to be highly effective in the suppression of synthesis of cholesterol in the body. Lipitor can be included to these effective therapeutic agents. The instructions attribute the drug to the drug group of statins of third generation with strong hypocholesterolemic properties.

Pharmacological action

The active component of this drug is atorvastatin, which inhibits a particular enzyme hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme a-reductase in the body. This pharmacological action allows inhibiting the production of another substance – mevalonic acid, which is directly involved in the biological synthesis of cholesterol. The result is a triple therapeutic effect: decrease of total cholesterol, lipoprotein of low density and fat (lipid) fractions of triglycerides. In two weeks after taking the drug it begins to show its lipid-lowering action, improving cardiovascular system, reducing risk of stroke and heart attack.

Indications for use

Lipitor is prescribed for the treatment of primary, combined, heterozygous familial hyperlipidemia and hypertriglyceridemia (2-a, 2-b, 3, 4 types according to Fredrickson) when diet and increased physical activity are not effective enough. Also, doctors use the drug for the prevention of coronary heart disease, stenocardia, arterial hypertension as a supplement to a cholesterol-lowering diet.

The conditions of admission

The pharmaceutical company releases the drug in the form of tablets. Lipitor is taken once a day. The duration of treatment and dosage is prescribed by a doctor depending on indicators of total cholesterol, LDL and triglyseride lipid fractions, and taking into account the existing underlying disease. For example, a doctor may prescribe 10 milligrams of the drug for the preventive purposes, and 80 milligrams of medicine in case hyperlipidemia. After a month of therapy, basing on the indicators of cholesterol levels, it is possible to adjust the received dose.

Drug contraindications

A cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor refers to the third generation of statins, so it has some contraindications. It is not recommended to use the drug to stabilize cholesterol level, with hypersensitivity to atorvastatin. It is forbidden to take this medicine by people with impaired liver function, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young people under 18 years of age. Care should be exercised in the appointment of the drug to persons abusing alcohol.

Side effects

Unfortunately, the medicines of the pharmacological group of statins have quite an impressive list of side effects. Lipitor is not an exception. The instruction notes that the most frequently observed negative manifestations such as muscle pain (myalgia), dizziness, insomnia, flatulence, pain in abdomen, periodical nausea, irregular bowel movement (diarrhea or constipation). Much rarer, but still patients may experience cramps, arthralgia (joint pain), myopathy (muscle atrophy), rhabdomyolysis (destruction of skeletal muscle). The nervous system may have numbness (hypoesthesia, paresthesia), asthenic syndrome. In addition, the drug may cause the appearance of peripheral edema, tinnitus, development of thrombocytopenia, the occurrence of allergic skin reactions.

Given such a large number of side effects, medications from the group of statins, including Lipitor are not intended for self-medication. It should be remembered that medication, corrective indices of the level of cholesterol must be under the control of a therapist.

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