Lipitor Precautions and Warnings

For people taking Lipitor, warnings and precautions to be aware of include those concerning potential drug interactions, such as those involving Lopid and niacin. Other safety concerns include not drinking heavily while taking the medication, and avoiding grapefruit and grapefruit juice while on Lipitor. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid the drug.

Lipitor: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Before taking Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium), let your healthcare provider know if you have:
 
  • Liver disease or liver failure
  • Kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Planning to undergo a procedure or surgery
  • Drinking alcohol frequently.
     
In addition, tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you are already taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, antacids, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
Finally, make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness (especially if you feel ill or have a fever).
 

Specific Lipitor Precautions and Warnings

Some precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking Lipitor include the following:
 
  • Lipitor can potentially interact with a number of other medications (see Lipitor Drug Interactions).
     
  • If you are an alcoholic or drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to starting Lipitor. Alcohol can affect the way the liver works, indirectly affecting Lipitor.
     
  • Do not eat grapefruit, drink grapefruit juice, or take supplements containing grapefruit while taking Lipitor (see Lipitor and Grapefruit).
     
  • Statins have been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, doctors typically recommend that you have a blood test that assesses your liver function before starting Lipitor.

Previously it had been recommended that people taking statins have routine periodic liver function tests while taking the medication, but this recommendation has been removed, since such monitoring does not help much to detect or prevent such problems. Liver function tests should still be performed if there is any suspicion of liver damage.  

  • In rare cases, rhabdomyolysis (the severe breakdown of muscles) has been reported with Lipitor and other statins. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, especially if it is accompanied by a fever or if you feel ill.
     
  • Lipitor is a pregnancy Category X medicine, meaning that it could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. Therefore, doctors do not recommend this drug for women who are pregnant. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider immediately (see Lipitor and Pregnancy).
     
  • If you are nursing, you should not take Lipitor. Ask your healthcare provider whether to stop nursing or stop taking the drug (see Lipitor and Breastfeeding).
 
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Lipitor Drug Information

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