May 29, 2023

Atorvastatin (also known by the brand name Lipitor) is a popular medication used to treat high cholesterol.

Hi this pharmacist curtis alexander in this video we’re going to talk about atorvastatin this is part of our 101 series where we’re taking medications supplements and breaking it down basically from a 35 000 foot view level to give you as a consumer an idea of what you’re taking or what you might be taking you can talk intelligently to your doctor and and and

Both have a good conversation about what things are entailed with this particular medication before we get into it i’d appreciate a thumbs up if this video was helpful and also subscribe if you want to see more videos from a pharmacist about medications and supplements and so let’s hop right into it so again we have a torvastatin now you’ve probably heard of it

Because it’s one of the most popular medications prescribed in the u.s but it’s used to decrease cholesterol levels and it’s part of a class of drugs moa is mechanism of action it’s part of a class of drugs that inhibits an hmg-coa reductase inhibitor fancy way of saying there’s a liver that is one of the rate-limiting steps in synthesizing cholesterol in your

Body so when you block that enzyme your body can’t make cholesterol the way it used to and that is where the torvostatin acts it’s blocking that enzyme so cholesterol will go down now i don’t want to get into whether that’s good or bad that’s conversation for another time and the whole cholesterol theory of medication or cholesterol theory of heart disease you

Know there’s some good points out there about why that maybe isn’t the the right way of thinking but again back to a torvostat and that’s how it acts in the body and this is a class of medications that’s commonly referred to as the statins because they all end in the moniker statin you have a torvastatin simvastatin so that class of drugs now as far as ci that’s

Contraindication people groups of people that we cannot use it in the first one if you have liver disease it’s one that they’re not going to want to use in you also pregnancy and breastfeeding it can’t be used in that case now i want to spend a little time on the dosing um it comes in a 10 to 180 milligram strength and those are your most common dosages i will

Point out that dosing at a 80 milligram strength is pretty rare you tend to see 10 to 40 milligrams you tend to see the dosing at bedtime because that’s when cholesterol synthesis is at its highest most people when they start you can begin to see the cholesterol levels going down within a couple of weeks that’s not always the case but it’s a good rule of thumb two

To four weeks you should be able to see if the cholesterol levels are going down now as far as side effects it’s pretty well tolerated but i’m going to spend some time talking about one of the more serious side effects here in a second but some of the more common ones and not as serious tend to be diarrhea 7 to 14 of people some people can pop up with cold cold

Like symptoms tends to go away after a while limb pain nine percent and muscle pain nine to twelve percent now i want to spend a little time on this muscle pain because you do want to pay attention to that if it starts cropping up um there’s a side effect called rhabdo or the technical term is rhabdomyolysis which is essentially breakdown of the muscle but when

That happens it can become toxic to the body it can actually be become lethal to the body so if you start to experience any sort of muscle pain that’s something you want to pay very close attention to and let your doctor know about it right away so they can keep a close eye on you again i don’t want to scare anybody with that but if rhabdo does happen it is

Serious it can be lethal so it’s not something you want to mess around with keep an eye on that interactions the other important thing about atorvastatin is it it’s metabolized or broken down through the sip 3a4 it’s an enzyme system in the liver now because it’s broken down that way we have to watch its use with other medications that interfere with that enzyme

System it’s a very common one for medications to be metabolized by so any inhibitors of sip 384 we have to be careful with those include some of our anti-fungals fluconazole would be one those include hiv medications they include some blood pressure medications um again i always tell people if you have questions you have to go to your pharmacist that’s dispensing

Your medications just ask them to to run a drug interaction check they’ll be able to do that and let you know if you’re any sort of risk with these um i i touch on this in almost every video because it’s a really common question people ask about weight gain and hair loss that’s two big things so as far as atorvastatin it has been reported to cause both weight

Gain and hair loss but the rates at which it’s been reported is really low so it’s i mention it in passing but it’s not something i would take serious um but again it has been mentioned now at the beginning of the video i forgot to mention i like to i like to just kind of give you my big takeaways for these medications so tarvastatin again very popular we have

A ton of evidence for its use now whether lowering cholesterol is the right way to go about the heart disease issue there’s a lot of debate about that and i don’t want to get into that but as far as popularity tolerance it’s good we do want to keep a very close eye it’s tolerated well but if rhabdomyolysis the rhabdo pops up extremely serious something you want

To take very seriously so any sort of muscle pain that crops up let your doctor know and uh like i said tolerated well very popular so i hope this video was helpful again if it is give me a thumbs up subscribe to the channel and comment below have you taken a tour of a set and know someone who did you know how did it fare how did it help him or not help him i’d

Love to know i’d love to read the comments i’ll do my best to respond to him again until the next video pharmacist curtis alexander thanks for your time

Transcribed from video
Atorvastatin 101: What's It's Used For, Dosing, Warnings, Side Effects + 1 Side Effect To Watch For By Curtis Alexander Pharm.D.