Worried about your high cholesterol? Heard about the drug Lipitor and wondering what it does?

Here are the answers to some basic questions about drugs for cholesterol.

We know: How Lipitor Works

What is Lipitor?

Lipitor is a drug that inhibits an enzyme in the liver, which is responsible for cholesterol metabolism in the body. It is a member of a class of drugs known as statins. These drugs not only lower blood cholesterol, but in some people, they can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

There are several other name brand drugs that are also statins, including Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol, Mevacor and Altocor. Lipitor is one of the most potent per mg of these drugs.

What are the side effects of these statin drugs?

First, liver problems may develop when a person takes a statin drug, although there may not be any symptoms. So, people taking these drugs must have periodic liver function tests.

The most common side effects of statin drugs like Lipitor are:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • muscle ache

What should I do if I experience side effects?

Talk to your doctor, especially if you are having muscle pain and tenderness, because this could be an indication that the drug may begin to affect kidney function.

Is it true that I shouldn't drink grapefruit juice while taking Lipitor?

Grapefruit juice interacts negatively with a number of medications, and the statin class of drugs, including Lipitor, is among these medications. Grapefruit juice is unique among citrus fruits juices because chemicals in grapefruit juice interfere with certain enzymes in the body. The interaction of the grapefruit juice and the enzymes can cause higher-than-desired blood levels of the drug and an increased risk of serious side effects.

Does it matter what time of day I take Lipitor?

Yes. Itís generally recommended that the statin drugs be taken late in the day, since the body makes most of its cholesterol at night.

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