Lipitor is used primarily for cholesterol control. It can help lower the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body while simultaneously increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol. This can help protect the heart against various diseases or keep body weight under control.
As effective as this drug can be at keeping cholesterol levels where they should be, it can also cause side effects. Quite possibly the most potentially dangerous side effect is that of an allergic reaction. The signs that you may have an allergy to this drug can include itchiness, difficulty breathing, rashes and an enlarged tongue. If you start to experience any of these side effects, then you should stop taking the drug and immediately contact a medical professional. The active ingredient in Lipitor is atorvastatin, and if you have an allergy to this particular statin or any statin in general, you may need to find an alternative way to control your cholesterol.
The common side effects experienced with use of this medication are constipation, bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhoea, heartburn, muscle pain, headache and rhabdomyolysis (the destruction of some muscle tissue).
In general, these side effects tend not to be very severe. You can treat many of them with everyday medicines, such as pain relievers and laxatives. If you feel your symptoms have become too severe, then you should let the doctor know. It may be possible that you need to find an alternative to Lipitor.
Lipitor is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, since it can reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body. That cholesterol is essential for both the child and mother, giving them the energy they need during these stages of development.
There are also serious side effects that are possible, though they are rare. If you start to experience any of these, then you need to stop taking Lipitor right away and contact a medical professional. The following side effects are considered to be severe: An increase in hunger or thirst, discoloured urine, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing around the eyes or on the skin), fever and confusion.
Most people who take the drug will only experience some of the more common, milder symptoms. They should be able to control these with some basic medication, but a small percentage of people will have an adverse and severe reaction to this drug. As there is a chance of severe damage to your health, it is advisable to start with a smaller dose and gradually increase it if necessary.
Further side effects are possible if you have a pre-existing medical condition or you take other types of medication. Let the doctor know about these before you start taking Lipitor so any potentially dangerous interactions can be accounted for.
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