Lipitor

Order Lipitor 10mg, 20mg & 40mg tablets online

Lipitor contains atorvastatin, which is a cholesterol-lowering drug. Lipitor is most effective when taken long-term combined with a healthy lifestyle. 

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
10mg84 tablets£58.99In Stock
20mg84 tablets£99.99In Stock
40mg84 tablets£99.99In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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Information

Dr Samantha Miller

Reviewed by Dr Samantha Miller MB ChB
(2017, University of Glasgow)
GMC number: 7561464

Information last reviewed 05/09/2021

About

What is Lipitor?

Lipitor is a type of lipid-regulating medicine containing the active ingredient atorvastatin. Statins such as atorvastatin work in combination with a healthy lifestyle and diet to lower cholesterol in patients at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

How does Lipitor work?

The liver produces a substance called cholesterol, which is vital for the functioning of all cells in the body. While a high level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, in the blood is healthy, a high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol, can build up in your arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet that is low in saturated fat, and exercising regularly, is the best way to reduce levels of LDL in the blood. In addition, Lipitor works by reducing the amount of LDL produced by the liver and is prescribed to patients at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

How long does Lipitor take to work?

Lipitor is most effective when taken long-term with the appropriate lifestyle changes. If taken correctly, your cholesterol levels should begin to drop noticeably within four weeks.

How long do I need to take Lipitor for?

Statins such as Lipitor are usually taken for life, as the benefits wear off once treatment ends. They are usually only prescribed to patients at high risk of developing heart disease, such as those with a history of stroke or heart attack. The benefits of statins increase over time, and coming off them suddenly can be very dangerous. Never stop taking statins without first consulting a doctor. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Lipitor is atorvastatin calcium.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in Lipitor are lactose, cellulose (E460), magnesium oxide, magnesium stearate (E470b), crospovidone, (E1202), hypromellose (E464), triacetin (E1518), titanium dioxide (E171), lactose monohydrate and iron oxide yellow (E172).

Note different doses or formulations may contain different inactive ingredients

Dosage

How to take Lipitor?

Always take Lipitor as instructed by a doctor. Lipitor tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water and can be taken at any time of day, with or without food. Before starting this medication, your doctor will start you on a low-fat diet. To help you remember, try and make this a part of your daily routine - for example, take your tablet when you brush your teeth in the morning. 

If you forget to take a tablet, just skip the dose and take your next tablet at the scheduled time. Never take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Lipitor dosage

Lipitor can be purchased as 10 mg, 20 mg or 40 mg tablets, to be taken once daily as instructed by a doctor.

Side Effects

Lipitor side effects

If you experience either of the following, stop taking this medication and consult a doctor immediately:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, sudden wheezing, severe rash or itching, high fever
  • Joint pain or inflammation
  • Skin eruptions or inflammation, hives or sudden sensitivity to sunlight
  • Sudden muscle aching, weakness, tenderness or pain
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes, itching, dark-coloured urine or pale-coloured stool
  • Abdominal pain

Common or very common side effects (occur in up to 1 in 10 people)

  • Weakness (asthenia)
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches (myalgia)
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disorders
  • Low platelets in the blood, manifested by easily bruising (thrombocytopenia)
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia)
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Joint disorders
  • Throat (laryngeal) pain
  • Muscle complaints
  • Inflamed nasal passages (nasopharyngitis)

Uncommon

  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Liver disorders
  • Memory loss
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas, manifested by upper abdominal pain)
  • Numbness (paraesthesia)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin reactions
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite decreased
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia)
  • General feeling of being unwell (malaise)
  • Swelling of the hands or feet (peripheral oedema)
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Vision disorders
  • Weight gain

Rare or very rare

  • Muscle pain (myopathy)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (sensory symptoms such as tingling or pins and needles)
  • Tendon pain (tendinopathy)

Frequency not known

  • Depression
  • Diabetes mellitus (in those at risk of diabetes)
  • Interstitial lung disease

Contraindications

Do NOT take Lipitor if you:

  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients of this medication
  • Have ever had a disease that affects the liver
  • Have or have ever had a blood test demonstrating an abnormal liver function
  • Are or will be at risk of pregnancy (effective contraception is required during treatment and for 1 month afterwards)
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding

Before taking Lipitor, tell your doctor and take special care if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • A history of liver problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Ever had a muscle disorder e.g. myopathy or rhabdomyolysis or if you have a family history of a muscle disorder
  • A high alcohol intake
  • Kidney problems
  • Had a stroke

Drug interactions

Before starting Lipitor, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, including those bought over the counter without a prescription. In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking any medications for your immune system, cholesterol, infections, birth control, heart failure, HIV or AIDS.

How to cope with Lipitor side effects?

Like all medications, Lipitor can cause side effects in some patients. Your doctor will usually prescribe a low dose to start with and gradually increase it at intervals of at least four weeks if necessary. If you experience troublesome side effects, consult your doctor about the possibility of switching to a different statin or high-cholesterol medication. Most side effects are mild, the most common being muscle pain or cramps. To relieve cramps, try doing daily stretching exercises and wearing compression stockings. Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes and keep your arms and leg muscles warm. Your doctor may also recommend taking magnesium supplements.

What food and drink to avoid when taking Lipitor?

While taking Lipitor, avoid drinking too much grapefruit juice, as it can increase the concentration of this medication in your system. Drink no more than two small glasses per day, and never within an hour of taking your medication.

You can drink alcohol while taking this medication, but you are advised not to drink more than the recommended 14 units per week. Too much alcohol can increase the effectiveness of Lipitor, which can be dangerous.

Treatment Options

Lipitor vs other statins

The five types of statins available on prescription in the UK are atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), pravastatin (Lipostat), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor). The main difference between them is the degree to which they lower your cholesterol levels. Low-intensity statins such as fluvastatin, pravastatin and simvastatin are sufficient for lowering cholesterol in the majority of patients. If a doctor feels you are at higher risk, or that a higher dosage is needed, they may prescribe a high-intensity statin such as atorvastatin or rosuvastatin. Different statins can have different side effects and may affect people in different ways. If you are worried about troublesome side effects, your doctor may choose to prescribe you a different type of statin.

Lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol

The best way to reduce cholesterol levels is to make changes to your lifestyle, and before prescribing statins your doctor will place you on a low-cholesterol diet. Cut down on foods that are high in saturated fats, such as fatty or processed meats, butter and lard, cream and ice cream, cheese (particularly hard cheese) cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and products containing coconut or palm oil. Exercising regularly is imperative, as is losing weight healthily if you are overweight. You should also try to cut down on alcohol and caffeine and, if you haven’t already done so, quit smoking.

Q&A

Can you take Lipitor when pregnant?

Do not take Lipitor if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, are planning on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

What is the difference between high density and low density proteins?

High-density lipoproteins (“good cholesterol”) are beneficial to the body, while low-density proteins (“bad cholesterol”) can be dangerous. High levels of “bad cholesterol” can lead to a heart attack or stroke and it is therefore essential to reduce levels if high.

How can I tell if Lipitor is making a difference?

You will not be able to feel Lipitor working, but your doctor may wish to conduct regular blood tests to monitor your blood cholesterol levels. If you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, Lipitor will work to its full potential.

Is Lipitor a cure?

Lipitor is not a cure for high cholesterol, and blood cholesterol levels will rise again if this medication is stopped. For this reason, Lipitor is usually taken for life and, when used in combination with the correct lifestyle changes, is an effective means of lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Can I drive when taking Lipitor?

Most people can drive while taking Lipitor. If you feel dizzy or tired after taking Lipitor, you should not drive whilst taking this medication.

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