|Why do I need this medicine?
||Atorvastatin helps lower your cholesterol level.
Excessive cholesterol in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as strokes and heart disease, including heart attacks.
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. 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 there are signs of improvement. 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.
Remember to take your medicine regularly. Atorvastatin must be taken exactly as directed for it to be effective. 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 and for at least 1 month after stopping Atorvastatin.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with Atorvastatin.
Alert your doctor if you suffer from liver disease or if you previously had a stroke. Inform your doctor if you consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.
|What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
||Alert your doctor if you suffer from thyroid disease.
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.
For as long as you are taking Atorvastatin, you will need to have regular blood tests to make sure that your liver function is normal. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these blood tests.
|What side effects could I experience?
||Atorvastatin may cause dizziness. If you feel dizzy, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other common side effects of Atorvastatin include stomach pain, wind, indigestion, constipation, headache and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- muscle pain, muscle cramps, numbness or weakness that does not go away
- joint pain that does not go away
- yellowing of the skin or the eyes
- unusual tiredness
- swollen eyes or mouth, breathlessness
|Can I take this with other medicines?
||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 it at least 4 hours after you have taken Atorvastatin.
Alert your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines
- heart medicines such as diltiazem or digoxin
- other cholesterol-lowering medicines such as gemfibrozil or nicotinic acid
- antibiotics such as erythromycin or clarithromycin
- antifungals such as itraconazole
- birth control pills
- other medicines such as ciclosporin, nefazodone, rifampicin
- a herbal or food supplement called red yeast rice
Always inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, 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.
|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.