Atacor - Use | Dose | Side Effects
Category HMG-COA reductase inhibitors
Atacor is a drug that contains an active substance called atorvastatin. It belongs to group of medicines called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors also known as statins. This medicine works by blocking the enzyme called HMG CoA reductase therefore reduces the cholesterol and triglycerides synthesis. Because of this effect, it is used in the treatment of elevated amounts of cholesterol in the blood (hypercholesterolemia).
- It should be avoided in patients with liver or muscle disorders. Since Atacor tablets, as well as other statins, can damage the liver, extra precautions are required in patients with liver disorders. Routine measurements of hepatic and muscle function are necessary (especially at the begging of the treatment) in order to determine whether this drug causes liver or muscle damage.
- It can, although very rarely, cause rhabdomyolysis (a life threatening break down of skeletal muscles). If you are experiencing symptoms, such as:
- muscle pain,
- muscle soreness and fatigue, contact your doctor immediately.
- It also should be avoided in patients allergic to atorvastatin and other similar drugs. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergy, such as:
- facial swelling and tongue swelling, contact your doctor immediately.
- Atacor must not be used in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, because it may harm your baby.
- Keep in mind that you will also need to change your lifestyle habits:
- stop smoking,
- exercise for at least half an hour a day,
- avoid heavy meals and increase your intake of fish meat.
- It must be used with extra precautions in patients with thyroid gland disorders (hypothyroidism).
- Atacor must be used with extra precautions in patients with diabetes, because it may increase the level of blood glucose level.
- It must not be used in combination with alcoholic beverages, because of an increased risk of liver and muscle damage!
Use of Atacor during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Atacor must not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding!
Atacor dose and use
It should be taken once a day, at bedtime. Atacor can be taken regardless of food, because food does not affect efficacy.
Treatment should be started with the lowest dose, Atacor 10 mg once a day. Dose can be increased until desired effect is achieved. Liver enzymes (AST, ALT) should be monitored during the treatment, to determine whether it causes liver damage.
Do not use alcohol beverages or grapefruit juice while using Atacor, because these substances can increase the effect of this medicament, therefore increasing the risk of side effects.
It is usually taken for a long period of time (a lifetime drug).
Use with other medicines (Interactions)
Atacor should be avoided in combination with the following drugs:
- Other medicines used to treat high cholesterol levels, such as:
- simvastatin (Cholipam),
- cholestyramine and others. Concomitant use of Atacor with these drugs, increases the risk of liver or muscle damage.
- Antibiotics, used in the treatment of infections, such as:
- telithromycin and others. These drugs may increase the effects of this medicine, therefore increasing the risk of side effects.
- Medicines used in the treatment of fungal infections:
- voriconazole, and others. These drugs may also increase the effect of Atacor.
- Medicines used in the treatment of AIDS (HIV), such as:
- lopinavir, and others. These drugs may increase the effects.
- Warfarin, used in the treatment of blood clotting disorders.
- Antacids, used to treat heartburn. These drugs can decrease the effect of this drug.
- Drugs used to treat high blood pressure and angina, such as:
- amlodipine (Vazotal),
- verapamil and others.
- Oral contraceptives.
Keep in mind that herbal medicines (e.g. St. John's wort), can change the effect of Atacor.
Alcohol and grapefruit juice may decrease the effect of this medicine, increasing the risk of side effects.
Atacor side effects
Atacor may cause the following side effects:
- abdominal pain,
- loss of appetite,
- weight gain,
- high blood glucose,
- impaired taste,
- muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis),
- liver damage that accompanies with jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes),
- allergy and others.
Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.