What is the most important information I should know about Avastatin (Lipitor)?
You should not take Avastatin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease.
Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact, and some drugs should not be used together.
Avastatin can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark urine.
3. Who can and can't take Avastatin
Avastatin can be taken by adults and children over the age of 10 years.
Avastatin isn't suitable for some people. Tell your doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to Avastatin or any other medicines in the past
- have liver or kidney problems
- are trying to get pregnant, think you might be pregnant, you're already pregnant, or you're breastfeeding
- have severe lung disease
- have previously had a stroke caused by bleeding into the brain
- drink large amounts of alcohol
- have an underactive thyroid
- have had muscular side effects when taking a statin in the past
- have had, or have, a muscle disorder (including fibromyalgia)
Lipitor chewable tablets contain a substance called aspartame - check with your doctor before taking these if you have phenylketonuria (a rare inherited disorder of protein metabolism).
6. How to cope with s >
What to do about:
- feeling sick (nausea) or indigestion - stick to simple meals and do not eat rich or spicy food. It might help to take your Avastatin after a meal or snack. If you continue to get symptoms of indigestion ask your pharmacist to recommend an antacid. Contact your doctor if your symptoms continue for more than a few days or if they get worse.
- headaches - make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Headaches should usually go away after the first week of taking Avastatin. Talk to your doctor if they last longer than a week or are severe.
- aches and pains in your back and joints - if you get unusual muscle pain, weakness or tiredness which isn't from exercise or hard work, talk to your doctor. You may need a blood test to check what might be causing it. You can also ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller.
- nosebleeds - try applying a thin layer of Vaseline to the inside edges of your nose.
- sore throat - try gargling with warm salty water (children shouldn't try this), or use paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease any pain or discomfort. If the symptoms last longer than a week ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.
- cold-like symptoms - try taking paracetamol or ibuprofen regularly for a few days. If the symptoms return when you stop taking the painkillers ask your doctor for advice.
- constipation or wind - eat more high-fibre foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables and cereals, and drink plenty of water. Try to exercise more regularly, for example, by going for a daily walk or run. If this doesn't help, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Watch this short video about how to treat constipation.
- diarrhoea - drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee.
Food interactions warning
Avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking Avastatin. Drinking grapefruit juice can lead to a buildup of Avastatin in your blood, which raises your risk for muscle breakdown. Ask your doctor how much grapefruit juice is safe for you.
How should this medicine be used?
Avastatin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take Avastatin at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Avastatin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of Avastatin and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 2 to 4 weeks.
Continue to take Avastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Avastatin without talking to your doctor.
What Other Drugs Interact with Avastatin (Lipitor)?
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and side effects and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first for more information.
Severe interactions of Avastatin include:
Avastatin has serious interactions with at least 45 different drugs.
Avastatin moderate interactions with at least 173 different drugs.
Mild interactions of Avastatin include:
This information is not a complete list and does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your doctor if you have health questions, concerns or problems with this medication.
Dosage Considerations of Lipitor
Co-administration of this medication with other drugs
- Bile acid sequestrant: Administer medication Avastatin/ezetimibe 2 hours or more before or 4 hours or more after administering bile acid sequestrant
- Cyclosporine, tipranavir plus ritonavir, telaprevir, gemfibrozil: Avoid co-administration with Avastatin (increased risk of rhabdomyolysis)
- Lopinavir plus ritonavir: Use lowest dose of medicine necessary
- Clarithromycin, itraconazole, saquinavir plus ritonavir, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir: Do not exceed Avastatin dose of 20 mg/day
- Nelfinavir, boceprevir: Do not exceed Avastatin dose of 40 mg/day
- This medication is generally considered safe in acute overdose, although not formally studied
- Adverse drug reactions and side effects from overdose may include peripheral neuropathy, diarrhea, increased K+, myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, acute renal failure, elevated LFTs, eyelens opacities
- Treatment is supportive
How it works
Avastatin belongs to a class of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
This drug works by lowering your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. Avastatin improves your body’s ability to get rid of LDL cholesterol through your liver.
Avastatin oral tablet doesn’t cause drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects.
Taking Avastatin with other cholesterol-lowering drugs raises your risk for muscle problems. Your doctor may change your dosage of these medications or have you avoid taking them together. Examples of these drugs include:
- medications that contain fibrate
What are the uses for Lipitor (Avastatin)?
- Lipitor is used for the treatment of elevated total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, and to elevate HDL cholesterol. The effectiveness of Lipitor in lowering cholesterol is dose-related, meaning that higher doses reduce cholesterol more.
- heart attack,
- hospitalization for congestive heart failure, and
- revascularization procedures.