Atorvastatin is a drug that is used to control hypercholesterolemia, this term is used in medicine to indicate the increase in cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol being a substance similar in nature to fat, which is necessary for various bodily functions, however, when it is present in very high levels, it can cause diseases.

This medicine is a substance that belongs to the group of statins, which are used to control cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Its use is normally prescribed together with changes in the patients’ diets and the recommendation to implement healthier lifestyle habits, such as daily exercise.

What is atorvastatin for and what are its benefits

Atorvastatin, also known as Lipitor, is used as a medical treatment in cardiovascular diseases, to lower total cholesterol in the blood, “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins), and triglycerides.

Cholesterol is present in our body and is required to produce hormones and some vitamins, such as vitamin D. When cholesterol is in high concentrations, it adheres to the walls of the blood vessels, this often occurs when our lifestyle habits are unhealthy thus generating diseases such as:

Atorvastatin in Cardiovascular diseases:

Knowing that cardiovascular diseases are those disorders of the blood vessels and the heart, atorvastatin works by reducing the level of cholesterol produced by the liver, thus reducing triglycerides, bad cholesterol and also increases good cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of suffering from any disease of this type such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Obesity

These diseases usually do not present symptoms, but if they are not treated properly they can bring serious complications to health and require surgical intervention.

Does Atorvastatin Help You Lose Weight?

It is not directly indicated as a drug to lose weight, however, since its use is associated with changes in eating habits, such as low-fat diets and recommendations to perform exercises as part of a healthy daily routine, the patient may get to lose weight.

Dosage and indications of atorvastatin

As part of the comprehensive treatment of these conditions, atorvastatin is prescribed by doctors to be taken orally, blood tests are usually required to determine the cholesterol levels present in the individual. Based on these analyzes, the health professional prescribes the appropriate doses and indications for each particular case.

Atorvastatin 10 mg

Atorvastatin is used in the control of fats, also known as lipids, it is initially prescribed to be taken once a day, it may or may not be accompanied by food and drink according to medical indications.

The treatment will be evaluated and adjusted after a period of time. The patient should indicate to the specialist if they have negative effects when ingesting it.

Atorvastatin 20 mg

Atorvastatin 20 mg is prescribed as hypocholesterolemic, after medical evaluation according to the evolution of the patient. It is administered orally, and should not be chewed. The dose will be strictly indicated by the treating physician who will evaluate and adjust the treatment, and it may be after 4 weeks or more to have started it.

Atorvastatin 40 mg

Before starting atorvastatin 40 mg, or any of its other concentrations, the patient is usually subjected to a diet to control cholesterol levels, it is continuous during the administration of this drug. The dose is individual and obeys the indication of the treating specialist.

Atorvastatin 80 mg

The atorvastatin dose of 80 mg per day is considered as the maximum allowed daily dose, and it is not advisable to exceed this, being the health specialist who will evaluate and accompany during the treatment, we must inform him if we consider that the Effect of the indicated dose is very strong or very weak.

What is the mechanism of action of Atorvastatin?

It acts in the body through the inhibition of the liver enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, responsible for the production of cholesterol, so there is a reduction in its synthesis, thus influencing the levels of this substance in the body.

Side Effects of Atorvastatin

Atorvastatin, like the other statins, inhibits the production of cholesterol and coenzyme Q10, which can cause certain side effects, such as decreased energy and this will manifest itself in those tissues that have a higher energy requirement, causing:

  • Muscle pains
  • Headaches
  • Fluid retention

These effects may be more noticeable in older people, especially those concerning muscle ailments.

Other side effects that have been mentioned that may occur are:

  • Flatulence or gas
  • Digestive problems
  • Constipation or constipation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Depression
  • Dizziness

How should atorvastatin be taken?

It is important that the indications and dosage of this medicine are directed by your treating physician, they generally vary depending on the patient since it can be adapted in doses with intervals of 4 weeks or more. Each Atorvastatin tablet    should be swallowed whole with a glass of water without schedule restrictions with or without food. The dose of  Atorvastatin maximum is 80 mg for adults once a day and for children 20 mg once a day.

For the effect to be the desired one, it is important that the doses consumed are exactly those prescribed by the treating physician, the expiration date present on the packaging must also be verified and, like the rest of the medications, it must be kept in appropriate places with room temperature, no humidity.

Contraindications of Atorvastatin

There are some very adverse opinions regarding the use of Atorvastatin. The use of this medicine may be contraindicated in some cases such as:

  • When the patient has damage to liver function.
  • If the patient is allergic or hypersensitive to Atorvastatin.
  • Combining the use of Atorvastatin with daily alcohol consumption can increase the risk of liver damage.
  • It should not be mixed with drugs such as: Digoxin, Antacids, Erythromycin, Oral Contraceptives.
  • It can cause harm to the fetus, so it is contraindicated in pregnant women.
  • If you are breastfeeding, it is not advisable to take this medicine, as it reduces the quality of breast milk, since it directly influences the amount of fat that makes it up, making it less nutritious for children.
  • It is not advisable to consume grapefruit, either in slices or juices, as it can influence the amount of the drug present in the bloodstream.

Interrelation with other diseases

The effect of artorvastatin can be modified due to the presence of some other disease, leading to severe effects.

Before consuming, it is necessary that you indicate to the doctor your medical history, where it will indicate if you suffer or recently suffered from any disease, mainly in the following cases:

– History of alcoholism or abuse of alcoholic beverages.

– Serious or severe infections.

–In patients with organ transplants and therapy to prevent rejection.

– Low blood pressure.

– If you suffer from liver diseases.

– Seizures.

– Permanently elevated liver enzyme levels.

– Recent major surgery (In these patients there may be a risk of developing alterations that lead to kidney failure).

conclusion

Atorvastatin is a synthetic compound used for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, by stabilizing platelets it also helps to prevent embolisms, it is widely used in the control of cholesterol levels.

However, we must remember that not all cholesterol is harmful to our body, so it is very important that treatment with atorvastatin is strictly accompanied and supervised by qualified personnel, who will evaluate, according to the results of the relevant tests, whether the use of this drug represents greater benefits than negative effects.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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