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Contraindications of *Lipitor*

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Lipitor and other statins are responsible for lowering bad cholesterol in a person who has been diagnosed with high triglyceride levels. Taking Lipitor is important but it is also important to understand how it interacts with your body.

Lipitor is a great medication that is highly prescribed for the improvement of heart function in those suffering from high bad cholesterol (LDL) and low good cholesterol (HDL).  Lipitor is prescribed more often than most other statins to help people who suffer from either dietary or genetically acquired cholesterol problems.

Lipitor is in the family Statin, which is a cholesterol lowering drug that targets the liver, where it is produced.  It does this by blocking the enzyme hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme (HMG-CoA), the enzyme that is responsible for the production of cholesterol.

Administering Lipitor

Lipitor can be given to any adult who experiences high LDL cholesterol.  Physicians begin with a very low dose, around 15mg to 30mg.  

Safety Considerations

Lipitor blocks enzymes that create cholesterol in the liver.  For this reason, if you have any liver problems be sure to notify your physician.  Patients who are on Lipitor are required to take a blood test every six months to ensure that their liver is not being harmed by taking this medication.

Side Effects

Common side effects of statins, including Lipitor are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Weakness 
  • Muscle pain

More serious side effects of statins are:

  • Kidney failure 
  • Liver failure
  • Rhabdomyolysis (muscle failure)
  • Adverse effects to developing fetus

There are reportedly between 4% and 15% of the population that have reported loss of memory and confusion that subsides after discontinuing use of the drug.  If you feel that Lipitor is causing you memory loss or confusion do not stop taking the medication and report your symptoms to your doctor.

Drug Interactions

There are some drugs that Lipitor and other statins cause to not work properly and are important to know about.

  • Protease inhibitors (used in treatment for AIDS)
  • Erythromycin (antibiotic)
  • Itraconazole
  • Clarithromycin (antibiotic)
  • Diltiazem
  • Verapamli
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Niacin

If you are using any of these medications they effectively stop Lipitor and other statins from doing their job as they eliminate statins from the body.

Notify your Physician

If you are on an antibiotic or other statin removing chemical, if you are pregnant or nursing, tell your doctor.  He may choose to temporarily place you on a different cholesterol lowering medication for the duration of your current situation.  If you begin to feel bone or muscle pain, if you are experiencing memory loss or feel confused, tell your physican.

Disclaimer:

** This article provides general information on Lipitor and statins and is not intended to provide full medical benefits or contraindications. To find out more about statins contact the Food and Drug administration.

References

http://www.medicinenet.com/statins/article.htm

3 comments

Aunty Ann
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Posted on Apr 28, 2011
Darline Kilpatrick
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Posted on Apr 28, 2011
John Smither
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Posted on Apr 28, 2011

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Kathryn Perez

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