MED REVIEW MONDAY
Lipitor (aka Atorvastatin) is prescribed for patients with high cholesterol. It functions to lower the levels of overall cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and to increase levels of HDL. It is part of a group of drugs called statins.
Side effects: The use of this drug has been reported to cause myopathy (the dysfunction of skeletal muscle cells) - resulting in weakness. Liver function labs (AST and ALT) should be monitored regularly because the drug cannot be processed by an unhealthy liver. There are contradicting reports of memory loss resulting from use of the drug - high cholesterol is often associated with dementia, however a depletion of cholesterol may have an effect on neuron function. Grapefruit juice should not be consumed while on Lipitor, it may lead to toxicity.
Lipitor is a very popular, kind of expensive drug. In 2008 it was the top selling brand-name drug in the world and grossed over 12 billion USD. Pfizer totally had the monopoly on cardiac disease prevention, but all good things must come to an end. When Lipitor’s patent was up in June 2011, Pfizer managed to buy another 5 months (not quite sure who approved of this ethically questionable business deal). On November 30th, the generic version hits pharmacies.
Womp, womp. Sorry, pharmaceutical industry ;)