- Significantly lowers bad cholesterol compared to other statins
- Works by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase responsible for creating "bad" cholesterol
- Can be used to prevent Heart Disease, Strokes or a Heart Attacks
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What is Atorvastatin?
Atorvastatin is a statin medication used to prevent cardiovascular disease in those who are at high risk of developing it. Atorvastatin works by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase in your liver, which is responsible for creating 'bad' cholesterol.
You can only buy Atorvastatin if you have a prescription from your doctor. It is available to order online at a registered pharmacy like Medicine Direct.
If you order before 2pm, we offer next day delivery.
What is Atorvastatin used to treat?
High cholesterol is a common problem, particularly with adults who are over the age of 40. However, it can be very dangerous and lead to serious conditions like a stroke or heart attack.
Atorvastatin is used to lower the cholesterol levels in your body if you have been diagnosed with high blood cholesterol. It can also be used to prevent heart disease, strokes or a heart attack.
You may be prescribed Atorvastatin if you have a family history of heart disease, or long-term health conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
How to take Atorvastatin
Atorvastatin tablets should be swallowed whole and taken with a glass of water. If you have been given chewable tablets from your pharmacy, you can chew them or swallow them whole with a glass of water.
You should take Atorvastatin tablets once a day. You must stick to taking them at the same time each day, although you can take them at any point in the day that is best for you.
In some cases, your doctor might recommend that you take Atorvastatin in the evening, because your body produces the most cholesterol at night. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about when the best time to take this medicine might be.
Atorvastatin tablets will not have any effect on your stomach, so you can take it with or without food.
Who can take Atorvastatin?
Atorvastatin is an effective treatment in reducing 'bad' cholesterol, but it is not suitable for everyone to use.
Atorvastatin can be taken by adults and children who are over the age of 10 years old.
Before you take Atorvastatin, you should inform your doctor if any of these apply to you:
- You drink large quantities of alcohol
- You have liver problems
- You have kidney problems
- You have had a stroke that was caused by bleeding in the brain
- You are allergic to Atorvastatin or any other medicines you have taken in the past
- You have severe lung disease
- You have had or currently have a muscle disorder
- You have taken a statin in the past and it has affected your muscles
Possible side effects
As is the case with any medication for high cholesterol, taking Atorvastatin does come with the risk of certain side effects.
Not everyone will experience side effects and statins can affect people in different ways. Many people who do experience side effects will find that these will ease after a week or so, once your body gets used to the medication.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist of any side effects you may be experiencing if they bother you or do not go away.
Common side effects of Atorvastatin may include:
- Indigestion or feeling sick
- Sore throat
- Constipation or wind
- Aches and pains in your back or joints
- Cold-like symptoms
Aches and pains in your muscles, back or joints may not appear until a few months into taking Atorvastatin. You should report these pains, as well as any tenderness or weakness you may feel, to your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive; for the full list of side effects associated with Atorvastatin, you should refer to the Side Effects tab on this product's page.
The normal dose for adults is between 10mg and 80mg per day.
If your child is required to take this medication, the usual dose is between 10mg and 20mg; the dosage will usually be worked out by your doctor depending on your child's age.
How much you will be prescribed will depend on the condition you are being treated for, how high your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels are and any other medicines you may be taking already.
If you are unsure of how much Atorvastatin to take, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice. Never reduce or increase your dose without your doctor's advice.
What if I take too much?
If you take too much Atorvastatin accidentally, you are unlikely to suffer any side effects, but you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you become worried or take more than one extra dose.
What if I take more than I am supposed to?
To treat high cholesterol, it is important you are consistent with taking Atorvastatin. However, if you do occasionally forget to take a dose, just take the next dose at the scheduled time.
Never take two doses at the same time and never double dose in an attempt to make up for a missed dose.
It is important you take Atorvastatin at the same time each day; some people find it beneficial to set an alarm to remind them to take it.
How long will it take to work?
If you take this medication as prescribed, your cholesterol levels should start to drop a noticeable amount after around 4 weeks of using it.
How can I lower my cholesterol?
Is Atorvastatin better than other statins?
Is Atorvastatin safe to use long term?
Is Atorvastatin addictive?
How much will Atorvastatin lower cholesterol?
Is Atorvastatin a cure?
How will I know if it's working?
Can I buy Atorvastatin online?
Do I need to make any dietary changes while I'm taking this medication?
Atorvastatin Side Effects
The common side effects of Atorvastatin can be found on the main product page.
In some cases, you may suffer more serious side effects while taking this medication. These effects are rare and occur in less than 1 in every 1,000 people.
You should stop taking the medication and speak to your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Severe stomach pain – a possible sign of pancreas problems
- Weight loss, coughing or shortness of breath – these could be signs of lung disease
- Cramps, muscle pain, tenderness or weakness – could be signs of a muscle breakdown or kidney damage
- A skin rash that has pink or red blotches, notably on the hands or soles of the feet
- Yellowing of the skin and around the eyes, pale stools or dark urine – could be signs of liver problems
It is also possible, in rare cases, to suffer from a severe allergic reaction when taking Atorvastatin. If this does happen, you may require immediate treatment in a hospital.
If you experience any of the below symptoms you should either go to A&E or call 999 immediately:
- You have a skin rash that is itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling
- You are wheezing
- You find it difficult to speak or breathe
- You have tightness in the chest or throat
- You have swelling in your lips, face, tongue, mouth or throat
This list may not be exhaustive. As with any medication for any condition, you should always read the patient information leaflet that will accompany your medicine for the full list of adverse reactions you may experience.
If you have any concerns, doubts or questions at all, do not hesitate to tell your doctor.
Coping with the side effects
If you feel sick:
Avoid eating rich or spicy food, stick to simple meals. Some people find it eases their nausea when they take Atorvastatin with or shortly after a meal; if you choose to do this, you should stick to this routine and keep taking the medication at the same time every day.
You can purchase antacids from a registered pharmacy if you suffer indigestion.
If your symptoms persist or get worse, you should talk to your doctor.
If you get nosebleeds:
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the inside of your nose.
If you have aches and pains in your joints or muscles:
You should go back to your doctor if you get any pain or tenderness that is not from exercising or work; you may require a blood test to identify the cause of the pain.
If you have diarrhoea:
Your body loses a lot of fluid when you have diarrhoea, so it is important you drink plenty of water to keep up your fluid intake.
If you get constipated or have wind:
Eat plenty of foods that are high in fibre, such as fruit, bran flakes and vegetables. Drink plenty of water and try to take more regular exercise – in particular, try to go for a walk or a run.
If your symptoms do not ease, go and speak to your doctor or pharmacist
If you have a sore throat:
Adults should try gargling with warm salt water. You can also try paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the pain. If you have a sore throat for longer than a week, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
If you show signs of a cold:
Take a painkiller like ibuprofen or paracetamol regularly for a few days. Consult your doctor if the symptoms return after you stop taking the painkiller.
If you get headaches:
Avoid alcohol as this can dehydrate you; drink plenty of water. Headaches are a relatively common side effect of Atorvastatin, but if they persist for longer than one week, you should return to your doctors and ask them for advice.
Atovastatin Warnings and drug interactions
Atorvastatin may interact with other medicines, hindering the effectiveness of this medication.
It is safe to drink alcohol while taking Atorvastatin, but drinking excessively means that you are more vulnerable to suffering from liver or muscle side effects associated with this medication.
Research has shown that alcohol can raise the levels of 'good' cholesterol in your body, but you should avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol in the same week.
Atorvastatin may increase the hormones released into a woman's system if she is taking the contraceptive pill. While you will still be protected against getting pregnant, it should be noted that this may increase your risk of suffering form adverse effects from the contraceptive pill. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you do suffer any side effects.
You should inform your doctor if you are taking one or more of the below before you start to take Atorvastatin:
- Any medications to treat HIV
- Any medicines to treat hepatitis C
- The Contraceptive pill
- Amiodarone to stabilise your heart
- Warfarin to stop blood clotting
- Verapamil, diltiazem or amlodipine to treat high blood pressure and heart problems
- Antibiotics or antifungals
If you need to take any of the medicines listed above while also using Atorvastatin, your doctor may do one of several things:
- Prescribe a different statin medicine
- Suggest you stop taking Atorvastatin for a while
- Prescribe you a lower dose of Atorvastatin
If you are taking any herbal remedies that contain St. John's Wort (generally used in medicine for depression), it can reduce the amount of Atorvastatin in your blood, which will diminish its effectiveness.
You should speak to your doctor before you start to use any St. John's Wort medicines alongside this or any other medication for high cholesterol.
This list is not exhaustive. You should read the patient information leaflet that will come with your medicine for the full list of drugs that can interact with Atorvastatin.
When you are prescribed a new medication, you must always inform your doctor and pharmacist of any medicine(s) you are already using. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
If you have any concerns or questions at all, we strongly advise you to discuss them with your doctor before you start to use this medicine.
To ensure you are taking medicine that is safe, you should only order Atorvastatin online if it is from a registered online pharmacy like Medicine Direct.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Atorvastatin has not been sufficiently researched to prove that it is safe to take while pregnant. For this reason, it is not recommended that pregnant women use this drug.
If you suffer from high cholesterol, you should speak to your doctor before taking Atorvastatin if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant.
If you are trying to get pregnant, it is best to stop taking Atorvastatin at least three months before you begin trying to conceive.
Similarly, it is not known whether or not Atorvastatin will get into your breast milk if you are breastfeeding; however, it may cause problems for your baby if it does.
Speak to your doctor before you use Atorvastatin if you are breastfeeding.
Atorvastatin calcium is the active ingredient contained in this medication.
Inactive ingredients also contained in Atorvastatin are: mannitol, cellulose microcrystalline, crospovidone, sodium carbonate, povidone, methionine, magnesium stearate.
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- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.