DOSING: Atorvastatin is prescribed once daily. The usual starting dose for adults is 10-20 mg per day, and the maximum dose is 80 mg per day. Adults who need more than a 45% reduction in LDL cholesterol may be started at 40 mg daily.
Pediatric patients should receive 10 mg once daily up to a maximum dose of 20 mg daily. Atorvastatin may be taken with or without food and at any time of day.
- lovastatin (Mevacor),
- simvastatin, (Zocor),
- fluvastatin (Lescol),
- pravastatin (Pravachol), and
- rosuvastatin (Crestor).
All statins, including atorvastatin, prevent the production of cholesterol in the liver by blocking HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that makes cholesterol. Statins reduce total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol in blood. LDL cholesterol is believed to be the "bad" cholesterol that is primarily responsible for the development of coronary artery disease. Reducing LDL cholesterol levels retards progression and may even reverse coronary artery disease. Atorvastatin also raises the concentrations of HDL ("good") cholesterol that protects against coronary artery disease and reduces the concentration of triglycerides in the blood. (High blood concentrations of triglycerides also have been associated with coronary artery disease.)
The FDA approved atorvastatin in December 1996.
Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
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