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What Is Lipitor (atorvastatin)?

Lipitor, generic name atorvastatin, is a member of a class of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors or "statins". It reduces levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) in the blood, while at the same time increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).

It is commonly used to treat dyslipidemia and prevent cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) among people who are at high risk. It was first synthesized by Bruce Roth in 1985 and has since become the best-selling pharmaceutical product in history.

The drug, like all other statins, prevents the production of bad cholesterol by suppressing an enzyme in the liver vital for cholesterol production called HMG-CoA reductase. Reducing the levels of bad cholesterol helps prevent coronary artery disease and serious CVDs, such as angina, stroke and heart attack.

A package and pill of atorvastatin 40mg (Lipitor)
What are the Medicinal Uses of Lipitor? Dyslipidemia - this occurs when someone has abnormally high levels of lipids in their blood. Lipids are a broad group of many different organic compounds including fats, fat-soluble vitamins, sterols, waxes, phospholipids, diglycerides, monoglycerides, and triglycerides. High lipid levels can be the cause of many diseases and disorders, a number of which Lipitor can be very effective at treating, such as: Heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia Hypertriglyceridemi (elevated levels of triglycerides) Primary dysbetalipoproteinemia Hypercholesterolemia Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia Hyperlipidemia Cardiovascular Diseases - these are diseases of the heart or blood vessels that affect the cardiovascular system. Typically, CVDs are caused by atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the arteries) or high blood pressure. Lipitor can be prescribed to prevent the development of many CVDs, such as: Coronary Heart Disease. Stroke - a 2009 study showed that for those who had recently suffered a stroke or mini-stroke and had no history of coronary heart disease, 80 mg Lipitor treatment is cost-effective in the USA for reducing the risk of recurrent stroke and future cardiovascular events. Angina (chest pain due to lack of blood being delivered to the heart). Myocardial infarction (heart attack). In July 210, Lipitor received European Commission approval for a chewable form of Lipitor for children aged at least 10 years with high LDL cholesterol levels, as well as high triglycerides due to inherited disorder familial hypercholesterolemia and other primary causes. What are the Side Effects of Lipitor Arthritis Back pain Bronchitis Chest pain Fatigue Infection Insomnia Pharyngitis Rash Rhinitis Sinusitis Stomach Pain Urinary tract infection Lipitor - Precautions Pregnant women should not take Lipitor as it can affect prenatal development and harm the fetus. It's also advised that women who are breastfeeding do not take the medication as it is still unknown whether the drug enters breast milk, potentially harming the baby.
In very rare cases people taking Lipitor can develop a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which is when the skeletal muscles break down releasing proteins, such as myoglobin into the bloodstream. These proteins can be very bad for the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney failure. If someone has (or is suspected of having) the condition they should discontinue taking Lipitor.
Avoid consuming grapefruit while on Lipitor as it increases the level of the medication in your blood and can lead to overdose toxicity.
Gemfibrozil, clofibrate and fenofibrate can interact with Lipitor and increase risk of developing rhabdomyolysis or myopathy.
Some CYP3A4 inhibitors, such as telithromycin, voriconazole and itraconazole, can cause serious side effects if interacted with Lipitor, as they increase the serum concentrations of the drug. In December, 2011, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), USA, announced the approval of the first generic version of what was then the world's top-selling medication - Lipitor. India's largest pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, gained FDA approval for generic atorvastatin calcium tablets in 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg strengths.

Atorvastatin was first synthesized in 1985 by Bruce Roth of Parke-Davis Warner-Lambert Company (now Pfizer). Lipitor is marketed today by Pfizer Inc.

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