Lipitor

Atorvastatin

For High Cholesterol

Track record

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Long (approved in 2004)

Bottom line

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High Cholesterol

What is High Cholesterol?

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Other treatments for High Cholesterol

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Non-drug

Over-the-counter

Prescription

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Overview

FDA-approved use

To lower cholesterol to reduce the chance of having a first heart attack or stroke in adults at increased risk

Lipitor is a statin. All major medical organizations suggest considering drugs in the statin family - not just Lipitor- to reduce the chance of a first heart attack or stroke in adults at increased risk. FDA officially approved Lipitor to reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke, chest pain or procedures to unblock arteries in heart or legs in people with high cholesterol without heart disease or a stroke but at increased risk because of factors such as: age, smoking, high blood pressure, low HDL “good” cholesterol, or heart disease in the family. FDA also approved Lipitor to reduce the chance of heart attack or stroke in adults with diabetes without heart disease or a stroke at increased risk because of factors such as diabetes eye or kidney disease, smoking or high blood pressure and to lower LDL "bad" cholesterol, raise HDL "good" cholesterol, and lower triglycerides in adults and children 10 years and older with abnormal cholesterol levels from a genetic condition.

Who might consider taking it?

Adults without heart disease or a stroke but at increased risk

The American Heart Association suggests people consider a statin if their chance of heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years is more than 5%, and to take one if the chance is 7.5% or more. You can calculate your risk at: http://tinyurl.com/pyv57ne.

What is not known

Not studied in children younger than age 10 or in girls who have not started their period

Not tested in people with Fredrickson Type I and V dyslipidemias

Not tested in people with end-stage kidney disease

Track record

LONG TRACK RECORD

Long track record means that new‚ unexpected side effects are unlikely. Lipitor was approved by FDA in 1996 to lower cholesterol and approved for prevention of heart attack and stroke in 2004 . Since Lipitor has now been used by large numbers of people over a long time‚ the emergence of important side effects is less likely than with new drugs.

Open questions

No FDA-required studies at approval

Do not take if you...

Are allergic to Lipitor or its ingredients

Have liver disease

Including people who have unexplained high liver inflammation blood tests

Are pregnant or may become pregnant

Lipitor may harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant, stop taking Lipitor

Are breastfeeding

Safe if pregnant or breastfeeding?

Pregnant

Do not take: Controlled human studies show Lipitor harms baby and potential benefits do not outweigh potential harms (FDA Category X)

Breastfeeding

Do not breastfeed - Lipitor gets into breast milk and may harm baby

NEXT: TRIALS

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