Lipitor medication is used to treat high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It inhibits the enzyme involved in cholesterol production in the body.
Active ingredient in Lipitor medication is atorvastatin, a synthetic compound, which belongs to statins group of drugs. It blocks the function of a key enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, involved in cholesterol metabolism.
Lipitor is beneficial in two ways. Firstly, it reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also called bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Secondly, it increases levels of high-density lipoprotein, (HDL) also called good cholesterol. (1)
Primarily indication of Lipitor medication is hypercholesterolemia, that is, increased levels of cholesterol in the blood. It reduces risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart complications in the patients with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors.
Lipitor is a commonly used safe drug; however its use may be associated with numerous side effects. Regular lipitor medication may lead to abdomen pain, constipation, diarrea and flatulence (accumulation of gas in gut). Muscle and joint pain may also be associated. You may also develop difficulty in breathing, swelling over face and neck and yellowing of skin.(2)
Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness may be associated with lipitor medication. Though these are not common side effects of the treatment, you should report to your doctor if these problems occur. (3)
Alcohol can interact with Lipitor medication and aggravate the severity of the side effects of lipitor. The mild side effects of lipitor which you may not bother much may become troublesome when alcohol is taken along with it. Your liver may be damage when these are taken together for long time. (2)
In a study on rates it was found that when alcohol and lipitor used simultaneously they caused inflammation in the cells of intestine. The effect was lasted more than a month of discontinuing the medication. (4)
Therefore, it is advisable to decreases or stop alcohol consumption if you are taking lipitor.
While on lipitor medication, you should eat a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet and avoid fat rich foods. You should avoid large amounts of grapefruit juice that is more than 1 liter a day as it may cause unwanted effects. (2)
Memory loss has been noted in the patients who are taking Lipitor medication for long time. Some studies have even noted reduced risk of dementia in the patient taking statins. However, the available literature is conflicting with regard to the effects of statins on memory loss.(5)
Thus, lipitor which has a lot of desirable effects also has side effects. You should discuss with your doctors about what to eat and what to avoid and when you should report to your doctor for any side effect. You should be careful while taking the treatment.
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