Atorvastatin – Oral


Why do I need this medicine?

Atorvastatin helps lower your cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood.


Excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.


Atorvastatin is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.


How do I take this medicine?

Take Atorvastatin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.


You may take Atorvastatin with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.


Atorvastatin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Atorvastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Atorvastatin unless instructed by the doctor.


What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.


DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.


If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.


When should I not use this medicine?

Do not take Atorvastatin if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with Atorvastatin, alert your doctor immediately. Atorvastatin may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking Atorvastatin.


Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with Atorvastatin.


Alert your doctor if you have liver disease as Atorvastatin may not be suitable for you.


What should I take note of while taking this medicine?

Inform your doctor if you:


– have thyroid disease

– have kidney disease

– had a history of stroke

– consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.


Inform your doctor immediately if you experience muscle pain, weakness or tenderness especially if it is accompanied by fever or general body discomfort.


If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor, surgeon or dentist that you are taking Atorvastatin.


Your doctor may need to perform blood tests to make sure that your liver function is normal before you take Atorvastatin and thereafter depending on your doctor’s advice.


What side effects could I experience?

Common side effects of Atorvastatin include any of the following: upper airway infection (e.g. runny or blocked nose, sore throat), stomach pain, wind, indigestion, constipation, headache and difficulty sleeping.


Atorvastatin may cause dizziness. If you feel dizzy, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.


Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:


– persistent muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, numbness or weakness

– yellowing of the skin or the eyes

– brown or dark-coloured urine

– unusual tiredness

– rashes

– swollen eyes or mouth, breathlessness


Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.


Can I take this with other medicines?

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:


– medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole

– antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin

– medicines for HIV infection e.g. lopinavir, ritonavir, tipranavir

– medicines for Hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir

– medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. diltiazem, digoxin, amiodarone

– other cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, nicotinic acid

– birth control pills

– other medicines such as ciclosporin, nefazodone, rifampicin, fusidic acid, colchicine

– a herbal or food supplement called red yeast rice


Atorvastatin should not be taken at the same time as cholestyramine. Cholestyramine reduces the effectiveness of Atorvastatin when taken at the same time. If you are taking cholestyramine, take Atorvastatin at least 4 hours after you have taken cholestyramine.


This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Atorvastatin.


Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.


What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Avoid excessive consumption (more than 1 litre a day) of grapefruit juice.


Avoid alcohol.


How should I store this medicine?

Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.


Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.