Pharmacologic class

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin)
Brand Names
Lipitor (as calcium salt)
As an adjunct to diet in high cholesterol and inherited imbalances of cholesterol, and in the treatment of elevated serum triglycerides.
Reduces cholesterol production by the liver by acting as a competitive inhibitor of HMG CoA reductase, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis within the liver. Statins occupy a portion of the binding site of HMG CoA, and block access to the active site on the enzyme.
Active liver disease, unexplained persistent elevated serum transaminases, pregnancy (Category X), nursing mothers.
Avoid using gemfibrozil, clofibrate, fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, nicotinic acid, or azole antifungals at the same time. Has some additive effects with colestipol, and dosing should be separated by at least four hours. Atorvastatin may increase the serum levels of digoxin and oral contraceptives. Patients should be monitored for myopathy if taking immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine. Take caution with any drug that decreases levels or activity of steroid hormones such as ketoconazole, spironolactone, or cimetidine.
Adverse Reactions
GI upset, headache, muscle aches, joint aches, rash, elevated liver enzymes, myopathy, muscle breakdown with kidney dysfunction.
Additional Information
Atorvastatin may reduce the proliferation of smooth muscle cells and act as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, reducing heart attacks and other vascular events.
Date of most recent Update
August 3, 2002
Further information is available in the writeup for the brand name of this medication - This writeup is intended only for provided information not for prescribing or using this medication

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