What is Lipitor
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a cholesterol reducing prescription drug. It belongs to a drug family called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or “statins.” Like other statins Lipitor works by by reducing the activity of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. HMG-CoA reductase is needed for the production of cholesterol in the liver. Reducing the activity of this enzyme reduces the production of cholesterol which causes the levels of cholesterol in the body drop.
Lipitor is manufactured by Pfizer and was approved in December 1996. Lipitor generic versions or generic atorvastatin are now available since the Lipitor patent expired in November 2011. They are manufactured by Sandoz Inc, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Apotex Inc, Mylan Pharms Inc, Kudco Ireland, and Dr Reddys Labs Ltd. Although manufactured by different companies, Lipitor generics work as well as the brand name product manufactured by Pfizer. Pfizer is also selling its own authorized generic. Authorized generic Lipitor is Lipitor in a different packaging and trademark. Availability of generic Lipitor caused a reduction in the price of Lipitor. At its peak, Lipitor annual sales were 13 billion dollars.
In response to generic competition Pfizer is offering a Lipitor coupon that reduce copays by $4 for a month’s supply. With this coupon patients can save up to $1000 per year. Those who pay less than $79 for a month supply of Lipitor will only pay $4 and those who pay more than $79 will receive a $75 discount. The $4 coupon can be obtained at Lipitor for You Program or call 1-866-3-Lipitor.
What is Lipitor used for
Lipitor reduces high cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and increases HDL (good cholesterol). Lipitor reduces the risk of heart attacks, and stroke, revascularization procedures (opening blocked blood vessels), and chest pain in patients with risk factors for heart disease. It also reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack in patients with type 2 diabetes and other heart disease risk factors.
Lipitor side effects
Common side effects of Lipitor include headaches, weakness, stomach pain, muscle pain and joint pain, allergic reactions, rash, stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation, inflammation of the sinuses, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, and elevated liver enzymes. Lipitor and other statins have been associated with memory loss, increased blood glucose, and diabetes. Liver damage, rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown), kidney failure, and pancreatitis may also occur.
This medication summary is for information only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.
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