Frequently Asked Questions
Your doctor is the best source for answering your specific questions about cholesterol and treatment with LIPITOR. You can also find answers to common questions here.
General Information About LIPITORTop
What are LIPITOR tablets?
LIPITOR is a prescription medicine that lowers the LDL-C (“bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides in your blood. It can raise your HDL-C (“good” cholesterol) as well. LIPITOR is for adults and children aged 10 years and older whose cholesterol does not come down enough with exercise and a low-fat diet alone.
LIPITOR can lower the risk for heart attack, stroke, certain types of heart surgery, and chest pain in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, such as:
- Age, smoking, high blood pressure, low HDL-C, heart disease in the family.
LIPITOR can lower the risk for heart attack or stroke in patients with diabetes and risk factors such as:
- Eye problems, kidney problems, smoking, or high blood pressure.
LIPITOR starts to work in about 2 weeks.
Limitations of Use: LIPITOR has not been studied in people who have an increase of chylomicrons (Fredrickson Types I and V).
Is LIPITOR right for me?
LIPITOR is a prescription medicine. Only your doctor can properly determine if you need a prescription medicine along with a low-fat diet to lower your high cholesterol.
Make an appointment with your doctor and ask if LIPITOR is right for you.
Who should not take LIPITOR?
Do not take LIPITOR if you:
- Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant. LIPITOR may harm your unborn baby. If you get pregnant, stop taking LIPITOR and call your doctor right away.
- Are breast feeding. LIPITOR can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby.
- Have liver problems.
- Are allergic to LIPITOR or any of its ingredients. The active ingredient is atorvastatin.
How to Get Brand-Name LIPITORTop
How can I ensure that I won’t get switched to a generic substitute?
Here are 3 suggested tips to take to help make sure you receive brand-name LIPITOR and not a generic:
- At your doctor’s office: Ask your doctor to prescribe brand-name LIPITOR and to indicate “DAW” (Dispense As Written)—or the language used in your state—on all of your LIPITOR prescriptions.
- At your pharmacy’s drop-off: Tell the pharmacist that you want brand-name LIPITOR—and be sure to use the LIPITOR Savings Card. The LIPITOR Savings Card can only be used with brand-name LIPITOR.
- At your pharmacy’s pick-up: Check your pills to be sure they’re brand-name LIPITOR—not the generic—and also check that you’ve saved on your prescription.
What should I do if I receive a generic substitute instead of brand-name LIPITOR?
Talk to your doctor and/or your pharmacist to let them know that you prefer brand-name LIPITOR.
Are brand-name LIPITOR and generic atorvastatin the same?
Some patients and their doctors prefer brand-name medications. When you and your doctor decide brand-name LIPITOR is right for you, ask your doctor to indicate “DAW”—or the language used in your state—on your prescription and make sure that’s what your pharmacist gives you.
How do I know if I received brand-name LIPITOR?
Check your pills for the distinctive shape and markings of brand-name LIPITOR.
Saving on LIPITORTop
What is the LIPITOR Savings Card?
The LIPITOR Savings Card allows eligible patients to pay as little as $4 every time they get a 30-day fill of brand-name LIPITOR—and could save up to $2,500 a year. If you have a prescription for brand-name LIPITOR, you can use the card for every fill through December 31, 2019.*
How do I use the LIPITOR Savings Card?
There are 2 ways to use the card immediately. Once you’ve activated your Savings Card, you can either:
- Bring a printed copy of it to the pharmacy
- Show it to your pharmacist on your phone
About 2 weeks after you sign up for a Savings Card, you will also receive a card in the mail. You can keep this card with you and continue to save on each fill for LIPITOR through December 31, 2019.
Who is eligible to use the LIPITOR Savings Card?
To be eligible to use a LIPITOR Savings Card, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Not be a resident of Massachusetts
- Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state healthcare programs
To learn the full details of who is eligible, please see the full Terms and Conditions.
How do I get a LIPITOR Savings Card?
To get a Savings Card, register here and then download your card or have it sent to you via mail, email, or text.
If I already have a LIPITOR Savings Card, how can I activate it?
You can activate your Savings Card here.
Where can I use the LIPITOR Savings Card?
You can use the Savings Card at any participating pharmacy. Use the Pharmacy Finder to locate a pharmacy near you that has recently accepted the LIPITOR Savings Card.
Can I use the LIPITOR Savings Card on a previously filled prescription?
The LIPITOR Savings Card can only be used for new prescriptions that are filled after you have activated the card.
Does the LIPITOR Savings Card work at nonparticipating pharmacies?
Yes, for reimbursement when using a nonparticipating pharmacy: Pay for your LIPITOR prescription and mail copy of the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with product name, date, and amount circled to: LIPITOR Savings Card, 2250 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560. Be sure to include a copy of the front of your Savings Card, your name, and mailing address.
Does the LIPITOR Savings Card work through mail-order pharmacies?
Yes, for reimbursement when using the LIPITOR Savings Card through a mail order pharmacy: Pay for your LIPITOR prescription and mail a copy of the the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with product name, date, and amount circled to: LIPITOR Savings Card, 2250 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560. Be sure to include a copy of the front of your Savings Card, your name, and mailing address.
How should I take LIPITOR?
- Take LIPITOR exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose or stop LIPITOR without talking to your doctor. Your doctor may do blood tests to check your cholesterol levels during your treatment with LIPITOR. Your dose of LIPITOR may be changed based on these blood test results.
- Take LIPITOR each day at any time of day at about the same time each day. LIPITOR can be taken with or without food.
- Don't break LIPITOR tablets before taking.
- Your doctor should start you on a low-fat diet before giving you LIPITOR. Stay on this low-fat diet when you take LIPITOR.
- If you miss a dose of LIPITOR, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take LIPITOR if it has been more than 12 hours since you missed your last dose. Wait and take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses of LIPITOR at the same time.
- If you take too much LIPITOR or overdose, call your doctor or Poison Control Center right away. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
When is the best time to take LIPITOR?
LIPITOR is taken once a day. The tablets can be taken with or without food, day or night. It’s helpful to remember to try and take LIPITOR at about the same time every day.
Do I need to take LIPITOR with food?
LIPITOR can be taken with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking LIPITOR?
- Talk to your doctor before you start any new medicines. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. LIPITOR and certain other medicines can interact causing serious side effects.
- Do not get pregnant. If you get pregnant, stop taking LIPITOR right away and call your doctor.
What if my daily schedule interferes with taking my medicine?
Try to take your medicine at the same time every day. Try connecting your medicine with something you do every day, such as brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. This may help you remember to take it.
Keep a daily calendar and add taking your medicine to your daily to-do list. Check it off once you have taken it. Or set an alarm clock to go off at the time you need to take your medicine.
You can also use a pill box with the days of the week on it.
You may also use a calendar to remind yourself to get refills before you run out of medicine.
Can LIPITOR be prescribed to children?
LIPITOR is for adults and children aged 10 years and older whose cholesterol does not come down enough with exercise and a low-fat diet alone. LIPITOR is not approved for use in patients younger than 10 years old.
What should I do if I am taking other prescription medicines in addition to LIPITOR?
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and even herbal supplements. LIPITOR and certain other medicines can interact, causing serious side effects.
How do I store LIPITOR?
- Store LIPITOR at room temperature, 68 to 77°F (20 to 25°C).
- Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need.
- Keep LIPITOR and all medicines out of the reach of children. Be sure that if you throw medicine away, it is out of the reach of children.
Safety & Possible Side EffectsTop
What are the possible side effects of LIPITOR?
LIPITOR can cause serious side effects, which only a small number of people have experienced. Your doctor can monitor you for them.
These side effects usually go away if your dose is lowered or LIPITOR is stopped. These serious side effects include:
- Muscle problems. LIPITOR can cause serious muscle problems that can lead to kidney problems, including kidney failure. You have a higher chance for muscle problems if you are taking certain other medicines with LIPITOR.
- Liver problems. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking LIPITOR and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you take LIPITOR. Call your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms of liver problems:
- Feel tired or weak
- Loss of appetite
- Upper belly pain
- Dark, amber-colored urine
- Yellowing of your skin or of the whites of your eyes
Call your doctor right away if:
- You have muscle problems like weakness, tenderness, or pain that happen without a good reason, especially if you also have a fever or feel more tired than usual.
- You have muscle problems that do not go away even after your doctor has advised you to stop taking LIPITOR. Your doctor may do further tests to diagnose the cause of your muscle problems.
- You have allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat that may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing, which may require treatment right away.
- You experience nausea and vomiting.
- You pass brown or dark-colored urine.
- You feel more tired than usual.
- Your skin and the whites of your eyes get yellow.
- You feel stomach pain.
- You have an allergic skin reaction.
In clinical studies, patients reported the following common side effects while taking LIPITOR: diarrhea, upset stomach, muscle and joint pain, and alterations in some laboratory blood tests.
The following additional side effects have been reported with LIPITOR: tiredness, tendon problems, memory loss, and confusion.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects; all side effects should be reported.
These are not all the side effects of LIPITOR. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the body. Having high “bad” cholesterol means you have too much LDL cholesterol in your blood. LDL cholesterol can build up in your arteries and prevent the blood from getting to your heart. HDL cholesterol is the “good” cholesterol. It carries LDL cholesterol away from your artery walls.
Here is some basic information you should know about cholesterol:
- Too much cholesterol in the blood, or high cholesterol, can be serious in certain individuals. People with high cholesterol and certain risk factors may be at risk for getting heart disease. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Most cholesterol is made by your body and a smaller amount comes from diet. However, some people may be more affected by dietary cholesterol than others. Age and family history can increase risk.
- People with high cholesterol usually have no symptoms. You need a blood test to determine if you have high cholesterol.
Why is high cholesterol a health risk?
In some instances when you have high cholesterol, a thick, waxy plaque can build up in your artery walls. As plaque builds up, the artery narrows and becomes less flexible. If a blood clot forms and clogs an artery narrowed by plaque, you could have a heart attack or stroke.
How is cholesterol measured?
Cholesterol is measured as milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). When you get your cholesterol tested, your measurements will include:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
- HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- Triglycerides (another type of fat in the blood)
At what age should I start having my cholesterol checked?
Experts recommend that adults aged 20 to 79 years who are free from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) should have their cholesterol and other traditional risk factors checked every four to six years. Then they can work with their healthcare providers to determine their risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
People who are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease or have cardiovascular disease may need to have their cholesterol and risk factors assessed more often.
How does smoking affect my risk of heart disease?
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease.
Is diabetes a risk factor for coronary artery disease?
Diabetes is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. If you have diabetes, you should work with your doctor to help control your diabetes as well as any other risk factors you may have for coronary artery disease.