GENERIC NAME: Atorvastatin

COMMON BRANDS: Lipitor, Storvas, Lipvas, Tovast

Atorvastatin is an oral prescription drug, which comes under the class HMG CoA reductase inhibitor or “statins.” It comes as an oral tablet form. It is available by the brand-name Lipitor. It is also available in pharmacies as a generic medicine. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand name drug.

What are the uses of Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is used along with proper nutrition to help lower “bad” cholesterol and fats like (LDL), triglycerides and increase “good” cholesterol (HDL). It refers to a group of drugs known as “statins.” It works by decreasing the quantity of cholesterol produced by the liver. Reducing “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and raising “good” cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease and helps counter strokes and heart attacks.

In addition to having a proper diet like a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet, other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better involve exercising, losing weight if overweight, and quitting smoking. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further details.

How to use Atorvastatin?

Read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly if accessible from your pharmacist before using atorvastatin and every time you get a refill. In case of any questions, ask your physician or pharmacist.

Take this medication orally with or without meals as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.

The dosage depends on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be using. Do not forget to inform your doctor and pharmacist about any other products you may be using whether prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and any herbal product.

Stay away from eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication unless your doctor advises you otherwise. Grapefruit can raise the concentration of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

If you are already using some other drugs to lower your cholesterol (for example bile acid-binding resins like colestipol or cholestyramine ), take atorvastatin at least an hour before or 4 hours after using these medications. These products can interact with atorvastatin, hindering its full absorption.

Take this medication regularly to benefit the most. Do not forget to take it at the same time each day. It is essential to continue taking this medication even if feel good. Many people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel any illness.

It is crucial to continue to follow your doctor’s guidance about nutrition and exercise. It may take nearly four weeks before you experience the complete benefit of this medication.

What are the side effects of Atorvastatin?

Note that your doctor has prescribed this medication because of the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Several people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very few people using atorvastatin may have some mild memory problems or confusion. If these unusual symptoms occur, inform your doctor.

In some cases, statins may induce or worsen diabetes. Ask your doctor regarding risks and benefits.

This drug may sometimes induce muscle problems which can rarely lead to severe ailments like rhabdomyolysis and autoimmune myopathy. Inform your doctor immediately if you exhibit any of these symptoms during your treatment and if symptoms continue after your doctor stops this drug, symptoms like muscle pain/tenderness/weakness along with fever or sudden tiredness, signs of kidney problems like change in the amount of urine).

This medicine may sometime cause liver problems. If you mark any of the following unusual but serious side effects, inform your doctor immediately, like yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.

A severe allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, seek immediate medical care if you notice any symptoms of a severe including rash, allergic reaction, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing, severe dizziness.

This is not a full list of possible side effects. If you observe other effects not mentioned above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while using Atorvastatin?

Before starting atorvastatin, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. This product may also contain some inactive ingredients, which can induce allergic reactions or some other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for further information.

Before starting this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have liver disease, kidney disease, and alcohol habit.

Before having any surgery, inform your doctor or dentist about all the products you are currently using prescription/nonprescription drugs, and if any herbal products.

Avoid alcoholic beverages. Regular use of alcohol may increase your risk of liver problems, particularly when taken along with atorvastatin. Request your doctor or pharmacist for any further information regarding any concerns you may have.

Elderly adults are more likely susceptible to the side effects of this drug like muscle problems.

This medication needs to be avoided during pregnancy. Atorvastatin may harm a fetus. Hence, it is important to prevent pregnancy during the treatment with this medication. Consult your doctor for further information regarding reliable forms of birth control methods such as condoms, birth control pills while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or if you think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.

Breastfeeding while using this drug is not advised. However, it is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding your baby.

What are the drug Interactions of Atorvastatin?

See how to use section.

Drug interactions may alter how your medications act/increase your risk for dangerous side effects. This record does not contain all probable drug interactions. Have a list of all the products you use like prescription/nonprescription drugs and any herbal products and give it to your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or modify the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s consent.

Some of the products that can interact with this drug are ritonavir, telaprevir, gemfibrozil.

Other medications can influence the removal of atorvastatin from your body, which may affect the atorvastatin’s mechanism of action. Some of the examples are telithromycin, colchicine, certain azole antifungals like ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole.

Stay away from any red yeast rice product while using atorvastatin. Some red yeast rice product may also comprise of a statin called lovastatin. Taking atorvastatin plus red yeast rice products together can boost your risk of serious muscle and liver problems.


This drug must strictly be avoided during pregnancy.

Your risk of serious liver damage increases if you drink more than two drinks per day.

If you have any kidney problem may not be able to eliminate this drug from your body. This may cause the accumulation of this drug in your body and cause serious effects (such as muscle problems).

This drug can cause liver damage, which could lead to liver failure.

If you have hypothyroidism that is not well controlled, you may be at high risk for muscle problems when using this drug.

What are the forms and strengths of Atorvastatin?

Generic: Atorvastatin
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, and 80mg

Brand: Lipitor
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, and 80mg

What is the dosage of Atorvastatin?

For the Prevention of Heart Disease:

Adult (18–64 years)

Typical starting dosage: 10–20mg taken once per day.
Typical maintenance dosage: 10–80mg taken once per day.


Children (0–17 years)

Atorvastatin has not been approved for use in children younger than 18 years for the prevention of heart disease.

Geriatric (65 years and older)

The kidneys of older people may not work efficiently, this can cause your body to metabolize drugs slowly. As a result, more of a drug remains in your body. This increases the chance for side effects.

Your doctor/physician may prescribe you a lower dosage initially or a different schedule. This can help maintain normal levels of this drug in your body.

For Dyslipidemia (cholesterol problems):

Adult dosage (18–64 years)

Typical starting dosage: 10–20mg taken once a day.
Typical maintenance dosage: 10–80mg taken once a day.

Note: In the treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, the dosage must be 10–80mg taken once a day.


Children (10–17 years)

In children, atorvastatin is only used for the treatment of heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

Typical starting dosage: 10mg once a day.
Maximum dosage: 20mg once a day.

Children (0–9 years)

Atorvastatin is not studied in children younger than 10 years of age for this purpose. It shouldn’t be used in this age range for this purpose.

Geriatric (65 years and older)

The kidneys in older adults may not work efficiently, this can cause your body to metabolize drugs slowly. As a result, more drug stays in your body. This increases your chance for side effects.

Your doctor/physician may start lower dosage or a different schedule. This can help maintain levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.


TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.