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Atorvastatin is a statin medication used to control high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

Last Modified: 22 May 2024

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What is Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is a statin medication used to control high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. 
It comprises atorvastatin calcium, targeting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme to disrupt cholesterol production. 

Global Name

Generic name: Atorvastatin 
Brand names: Lipitor, Atorlip, Lipistad 


What is Atorvastatin used for?

Atorvastatin is indicated for: 

  • Reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol 
  • Minimising the risk of heart attack and stroke 
  • Potentially reversing the progression of coronary artery disease 

How do you use Atorvastatin?


  • Atorvastatin is available in tablet form 

Dosage information:

  • Initial dose for adults: Often 10-20 mg daily; max 80 mg daily
  • Pediatric dose (ages 10-17): Usually starts at 10 mg daily 


  • Children: Approved for those 10+ with familial hypercholesterolemia 
  • Adults: Broadly prescribed with considerations for individual health history 
  • Elderlies: May require dose adjustments based on liver function and drug tolerance 

Who cannot take Atorvastatin?

  • Children under 10
  • Individuals with active liver disease
  • Pregnant individuals (US FDA drug category X: known risk of fetal abnormalities in animals and humans, risks outweigh benefits)
  • Nursing mothers 


Allergies and unsuitability:

  • Avoid if you have a known allergy to atorvastatin or any inactive ingredients in the medication.  

Warnings and precautions:

  • Take atorvastatin once daily, with or without food. Evening administration coincides with the body's peak cholesterol production. 

Interactions and contraindications:

  • Atorvastatin can interact with grapefruit juice, certain antibiotics, and other lipid-lowering treatments. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include mild muscle pain, diarrhoea, and headache. Serious side effects are rare but can include liver dysfunction and myopathy. 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Medication Schedule: Forgetting doses can compromise atorvastatin's efficacy. Consider setting reminders to maintain a consistent routine. 
  • Lifestyle Integration: While atorvastatin helps reduce cholesterol, coupling it with a healthy diet, weight management, and regular physical activity can amplify benefits. 
  • Drug Interactions: Always inform healthcare providers about your medications to prevent adverse interactions. 
  • Regular Testing: Keep up with scheduled blood tests to monitor cholesterol levels and liver function, ensuring safe and effective atorvastatin therapy. 
  • Side Effect Management: If you experience mild side effects, discuss them with your healthcare provider before discontinuing use; they may offer strategies to manage these symptoms. 
  • Storage and Handling: Store atorvastatin in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Ensure the bottle is tightly closed to preserve the medication's integrity. 
  • Travel Considerations: Travel with your medication in its original labelled container, and carry a copy of your prescription for reference. 


Where is Atorvastatin available in Hong Kong?

 Atorvastatin is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.


Is Atorvastatin available over-the-counter? 

No, it requires a prescription. 

Can Atorvastatin cause muscle pain? 

Yes, muscle pain is a possible side effect. 

When to take Atorvastatin? Morning or night? 

It's often taken at night to align with the body's natural cholesterol production cycle. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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