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Drug Info > R > RAN-Atorvastatin
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Brand Name

RAN-Atorvastatin

Common Name
atorvastatin


In this drug factsheet:



How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Atorvastatin belongs to the group of medications known as HMG CoA reductase inhibitors ("statins"). It is used to treat people who have high cholesterol levels, including those people who have certain inherited cholesterol disorders. When you use this medication, you also need to make lifestyle changes, including switching to a diet low in fat and cholesterol, quitting smoking, and increasing the amount of exercise you do.

Atorvastatin works by blocking an enzyme that is used to make cholesterol in the liver. When that enzyme is blocked, less cholesterol is produced and the amount of cholesterol in the blood decreases. Atorvastatin lowers the level of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol), and raises high density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good" cholesterol) levels. Reduction of cholesterol levels in the blood has been shown to reduce the risks associated with heart disease, such as heart attack.

Atorvastatin is used to reduce the risk of heart attack in people experiencing symptoms associated with heart disease.

Atorvastatin is also used to reduce the risk of heart attack in people with high blood pressure who have at least 3 additional risk factors for heart disease but not experiencing symptoms associated with heart disease. The risk factors of heart disease for these individuals include:

  • being male
  • being 55 years old or older
  • enlarged heart ventricles
  • family history of heart disease
  • smoking
  • specific abnormalities on an ECG
  • the total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol ratio that is greater than or equal to 6
  • type 2 diabetes
  • specific types of protein in the urine

Atorvastatin is also used to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes who have other risk factors for heart disease but not experiencing symptoms associated with heart disease. The risk factors of heart disease for these individuals include:

  • a specific type of protein in the urine
  • being 55 years old or older
  • disease of the retina
  • smoking

Atorvastatin may be used in addition to diet to reduce cholesterol for adolescents between 10 and 17 years of age with increased cholesterol levels and family history of early heart disease or 2 or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The medication usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks to have a significant effect on the cholesterol level in your blood. After this time, your doctor will likely send you for a blood test to check for changes in your cholesterol levels.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

When you start taking atorvastatin, you should be on a cholesterol-lowering diet. If appropriate, a health care professional will discuss an individualized program of weight control and physical exercise with you.

The recommended starting dose of atorvastatin for adults is 10 mg or 20 mg daily, preferably in the evening, with or without food. Your doctor will do blood tests to tell how well this dose is working for you and may gradually increase the dose to get the desired response. The maximum recommended dose for adults is 80 mg taken once daily.

For children 10 to 17 years of age who are taking this medication to treat inherited cholesterol disorders, the recommended dose ranges from 10 mg to 20 mg daily. Doses greater than 20 mg have not been studied.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

For best results in lowering cholesterol, it is very important to closely follow the diet suggested by your doctor. It is also very important that atorvastatin be taken regularly and exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does this medication come in?

RAN-Atorvastatin

10 mg
Each white, elliptical, film-coated tablet, embossed with "AT10" on one side and "RBX" on the other, contains atorvastatin 10 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium carbonate, candelilla wax, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, polysorbate 80, and simethicone emulsion.

20 mg
Each white, elliptical, film-coated tablet, embossed with "AT20" on one side and "RBX" on the other, contains atorvastatin 20 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium carbonate, candelilla wax, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, polysorbate 80, and simethicone emulsion.

40 mg
Each white, elliptical, film-coated tablet, embossed with "AT40" on one side and "RBX" on the other, contains atorvastatin 40 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium carbonate, candelilla wax, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, polysorbate 80, and simethicone emulsion.

80 mg
Each white, elliptical, film-coated tablet, embossed with "AT80" on one side and "RBX" on the other, contains atorvastatin 80 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium carbonate, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, polysorbate 80, and simethicone emulsion.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to atorvastatin or any ingredients of the medication
  • are breast-feeding
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • have active liver disease or unexplained increases in liver function tests


 

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