19.02 Atorvastatin (Lipitor)

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Generic Name


Trade Name



Management of high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), primary prevention of cardiovascular disease


Lowers total cholesterol as well as LDL while slightly increasing HDL. Inhibits HMG-CoA reductase which plays a role in the liver in cholesterol formation

Therapeutic Class

Lipid-lowering agent

Pharmacologic Class

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor

Similar Medications

Simvastatin (Zocor), rosuvastatin (Crestor)

Nursing Considerations

• Contraindicated in active liver disease
• May cause rhabdomyolysis
• Monitor renal function
• Monitor serum cholesterol before, about 4 weeks after starting, and fre-
quently during drug therapy
• Monitor liver function tests
• Instruct patient to report muscle weakness (sign of rhabdomyolysis)