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Generic Name:

Atorvastatin calciumtrihydrate

Pronounced As:

a tore’ vas ta tincal-see-um try-hide-rate

Common Brand Name:



Atorvastatin is available in the form of tablets that can be taken orally.

What is atorva?

Atorvastatin belongs to a class of drugs called as statins or HMG CoA reductase inhibitors.

Uses of atorvastatin

This medicine is prescribed for dyslipidaemia and lowering the risks of heart attack or stroke and other cardiac complications in vulnerable people such as those with diabetes, coronary heart disease or other risk factors. Atorvastatin helps in reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also called as bad cholesterol along with triglycerides in the blood. It also helps in improving the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol in the blood.

It also helps in secondary prevention of stroke, myocardial infarction, angina, revascularization, etc. Other uses include the use of high-dose statin therapy helps in plaque-stabilization in patients suffering from thrombotic stroke or acute coronary syndrome.


Atorvastatin is used in combination with other drugs such as bile acid sequestrants and ezetimibe. The drug should not be used with other cholesterol-lowering drugs such as fibrates. This may lead to risk of myopathy related side effects.

The drug can be administered at bedtime, but can also be given any time of the day. However, one has to maintain the same time of dose regularly for optimal effect.

Contraindications of atorvastatin

People with the following conditions are advised against the use of atorvastatin:

  • Those who have unexplained elevations in AST or ALT levels
  • Those who are suffering from liver conditions such as hepatic encephalopathy, hepatitis, jaundice or cholestasis
  • Women who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant. One should not use atorvastatin during pregnancy as the drug can affect the serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels of the fetus.
  • Small amounts of statins can pass through breastmilk, thus, breastfeeding women should exert caution when taking this drug.
  • People who are over 70 years of age
  • Those suffering from lung problems
  • Those with kidney problems
  • Those who drink alcohol heavily
  • If rhabdomyolysis is suspected, stop atorvastatin immediately.

Who are prescribed atorvastatin

Patients with high cholesterol or other heart complications are prescribed atorvastatin. It is also advised for children over 10 years of age and suffering from  familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia.

How to take the atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin tablet is taken by mouth once a day with or without food. One should take the medicine at the same time every day. You can read the instructions on the prescription label carefully or follow the advice of your doctor before taking the medications. Never take more than the prescribed dose of the medicine by your doctor. Contine use of the medication, even if you feel good health wise. Never stop the medication, without speaking to your doctor.

If you forget a dose, take it immediately once you remember about it. However, if there are less than 12 hours until the next dose of atorvastatin, skip the one missed. Never take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

Special Instructions

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You should follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and continue with all recommended exercises by your doctor. Avoid drinking more than 1.2 liter of grapefruit juice when taking atorvastatin.

Atorvastatin belongs to FDA pregnancy category X. Atorvastatin should not be used in pregnant women as it cause harm to unborn baby.

Complications/Side Effects of atorvastatin

Some of the side effects caused by atorvastatin include:

Other rare, but serious complications that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle pain, tiredness
  • Unusual bleeding or unexplained bruising
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rash, hives, itching
  • Problems swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, lower legs, ankles
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Dark colored urine
  • Pain in the abdomen

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call the doctor immediately.

Storage of atorvastatin

The medication should be kept tightly closed in the container it is sold in. Keep at room temperature away from excessive heat and moisture. Do not use expired or extra medications. Keep it out of reach of children.

Drug interactions of atorvastatin

Atorvastatin may react with certain medications, complementary preparations as well as vitamins. If you are on or are planning to start any other medications, please make sure you inform your doctor beforehand. The doctor can then decide if the drug is safe to use along with other combination of drugs used by you.

Speak to your doctor or pharmacists for more information related to atorvastatin.

Written by: team
Date last updated: May 05, 2015