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Atorvastatin is a medication used to treat high cholesterol. It is usually prescribed when diet and lifestyle changes have not worked. It works by decreasing the amount of cholesterol that builds up on the walls of the arteries and blocks blood flow to the heart, brain and other parts of the body.
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What is Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is a kind of medicine in the statin family. Atorvastatin can be used to help lower cholesterol levels where diet and lifestyle changes haven’t worked. It also helps to lower the risk of heart disease, even in people with normal cholesterol levels.

How does Atorvastatin work?

Statins work to control the amount of lipids, or fatty substances, in the blood. You should still eat a low-cholesterol diet when taking this medication.

How do you take Atorvastatin?

Always use Atorvastatin as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. The usual starting dose for this medication is 10mg, but your doctor will review and amend your dosage when needed at four weekly intervals.

Atorvastatin is available in 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg tablets.  

Take one tablet daily, with or without food. Swallow it whole with water. You can take your tablet at the time of day that best suits you, but try to be consistent from one day to the next.

It’s important not to drink more than two small glasses of grapefruit juice per day when you are being treated with Atorvastatin. You also shouldn’t drink too much alcohol.

How effective is Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is a clinically proven treatment for high cholesterol.

To help the effectiveness of Atorvastatin and maintain good cholesterol levels, you can do the following:

  • Eat a healthy diet with minimal saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, more fruits and vegetables and alcohol in moderation
  • Exercise regularly and try to maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking

What are the main side effects of Atorvastatin?

Like all medicines, Atorvastatin can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. The most common side effects of Atorvastatin are:

  1. Inflammation of the nasal passages, nose bleeds and a sore throat
  2. Allergic reactions
  3. Increase in blood sugar levels

For a full list of Atorvastatin tablets side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are statins?

Statins are a kind of medicine that help to regulate the amount of fat present in the blood.

What are Atorvastatin tablets for?

Atorvastatin tablets are used to control cholesterol levels in the blood where changes to diet and lifestyle haven't worked. 

Can I drink alcohol with statins?

You should limit the amount of alcohol you drink when you are taking statins.

More Information
Dosage Instructions Please see medicine label for the dosage instructions.