ZocdocAnswersShould I take Atorvastatin?

Question

Should I take Atorvastatin?

I had a bload test done and I was told my cholestrol level was too high (7.8). My doctor prescribed me Atorvastatin 28 film-coated tablets. 40mg. I would like to know if I should take it or try to loose weight and bring down the cholesterol level down naturally. My other question is, if I start taking the medicine can I stop taking it when the cholestrol is down to normal level or I have to take it for life? I am 60 year old women, and I had a mini stroke about 14 years ago.

Answer

I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist to discuss this issue. Atorvastatin is one of the most common medications to be prescribed for cholesterol issues. It is also sold in the trade name Lipitor. The cholesterol level that you are quoting at 7.8 is an odd number and I am not sure how to interpret that without the units included. 40 mg is a fairly typical dose of atorvastatin and half of the maximum dose. Your doctor is probably rightfully placing you on this medication especially if you had a mini stroke at some point. This means that you probably have some type of vascular disease and atorvastatin is often used for this, especially when cholesterol levels are slightly high. Weight loss and exercise do help bring cholesterol down, but they can only work so much. After you get your cholesterol levels down, some people do try to come off the medication, but usually the cholesterol levels rise again. If you tolerate the medication and do not have significant side effects, then your doctor will probably want to keep you on it. Again, I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist to further discuss this issue. Cardiologists have the most experience with lipid lowering drugs such as atorvastatin and would be would help you with your question.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.