Drug: Lipitor

Lipitor is the brand name of atorvastatin, a statin medication prescribed to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

High cholesterol levels increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other heart-related complications.

Lipitor can also raise the levels of HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) in your blood.

The drug is sometimes prescribed to people with an existing heart condition to lower their risk of experiencing a heart attack or other cardiac event.

Additionally, Lipitor may be prescribed as a preventive drug for people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), a history of smoking, or other conditions that could increase their risk for heart complications.

Lipitor History

Statins are the most widely-prescribed class of drugs in the United States, and Lipitor is the top-selling prescription drug of all time, exceeding $130 billion in sales.

More than 29 million people in the United States have been prescribed Lipitor.

Pfizer manufactures Lipitor, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996.

In 2014, the company denied liability for lawsuits by women who claimed that Lipitor gave them type 2 diabetes, stating that the women may have other risk factors that make them vulnerable to the disease, such as high blood pressure or obesity.

The lawsuits follow a 2012 call by the FDA to change the labeling on the drug to include a warning about the drug's link to high blood sugar and increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

In a study of more than 470,000 patients newly treated with a statin, researchers found that Lipitor presented the highest diabetes risk.

Additional studies reported that diabetes risk is higher for certain groups, including the elderly, women, and Asians.

Lipitor Warnings

Before taking Lipitor, tell your doctor if you have a thyroid disorder, muscle pain or weakness, a history of liver or kidney disease, or if you drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.

Lipitor will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan, so it's important to avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol.

It's also important to stick to an exercise routine, and to keep your weight under control.

Children and people with liver problems should not take Lipitor. Liver complications linked to Lipitor include hepatitis, fatty changes to the liver, and cirrhosis. Symptoms related to Lipitor liver injury include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the right upper abdomen
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)

While talking Lipitor, there is a possible risk of myopathy, a muscle disease in which the muscle fibers do not function properly.

If you feel any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness — particularly if you have any of these along with a fever, or if these muscle signs or symptoms persist after discontinuing Lipitor — call your doctor.

In rare cases, Lipitor can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • A fever
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Dark-colored urine

Pregnancy and Lipitor

Lipitor and other statins should not be used during pregnancy because of the risk of harm to the fetus.

If you are of childbearing age and are prescribed Lipitor, be sure to use an effective method of birth control to prevent pregnancy.

If you become pregnant while taking Lipitor, stop taking the drug and call your doctor immediately.

Lipitor should not be taken while breastfeeding, because it can pass into breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding infant.

Lipitor Coupons and Prices

Looking to save money on a prescription for lipitor? SingleCare, a leading online service for prescription, dental, and vision discounts, has partnered with most major pharmacies around the country to help you save up to 80 percent off prescription costs. Click on "Free Coupon" below and sign up to get your free SingleCare pharmacy savings card. You'll receive a coupon by email or text to get the best price at a local participating pharmacy near you.

Source: http://www.everydayhealth.com

Lipitor Side Effects

Lipitor can cause serious side effects. Stop taking the drug and call your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • Confusion, memory problems, or other cognitive issues
  • Fever, unusual tiredness, and dark-colored urine
  • Swelling, weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all
  • Increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss
  • Nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Less serious side effects from Lipitor may include mild muscle pain, diarrhea, or mild nausea.

Allergic Reaction to Lipitor

Get emergency medical help if you take Lipitor and have signs of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Source: http://www.everydayhealth.com

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