Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Atorvastatin


Last updated on 19/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Atorvastatin 


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Lipitor 膽固清, Atacor 阿妥定, Caduet (contains Amlodipine and Atorvastatin), Lipistad

DRUG CLASS: HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor; Cholesterol-lowering drug  

USED FOR: Elevated blood lipids, prevention of cardiovascular events

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Fluvastatin, Lovastatin, Pravastatin, Rosuvastatin, Simvastatin

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 80mg (tablets)

What is Atorvastatin for?

Atorvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering drug that works like Simvastatin, which is primarily by blocking the enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, especially in the liver, and hence reduces cholesterol levels. It is the first-line medication used for hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia (elevated blood cholesterol).

The detailed indications of Atorvastatin include primary hypercholesterolemia or combined (mixed) hyperlipidemia in patients who did not respond adequately to diet and other appropriate measures, homozygous or heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia in patients who have not responded adequately to diet and other appropriate measures, primary prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with cardiovascular disease or at high risk of having a cardiovascular event (e.g. people who smoke, people with diabetes), and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events.

How to use it?

Atorvastatin is taken by mouth as tablets. Most people take it on a daily basis in the evening. The dose range of Atorvastatin is 10 to 80 mg once daily. Lower doses are often prescribed in Asians and your doctor will typically start with an initial dose of 5 to 20 mg daily. The dose of Atorvastatin can be adjusted based on your cholesterol levels.

What are the side effects of Atorvastatin?

The most common side effects of Atorvastatin are muscle pain, muscle weakness, and shoulder pain. Rare side effects include an increased risk of diabetes, cognitive impairment (inability to focus or remember) and rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle breakdown).

Who should not take Atorvastatin?

– Patients with active liver disease
– People allergic to Atorvastatin or other ingredients of the formulation
– Pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those who intend to become pregnant

Pharmacist Tips:

– Seek medical attention immediately if there is any unexplained muscle pain.
– Take adequate contraception during and 1 month after therapy if you are a female patient with childbearing potential.
– Avoid consumption of large amounts of grapefruit and grapefruit juice while you are on this medication.
– Reductions in blood cholesterol will be the best when atorvastatin is used with diet and exercise. 

Common dosing schedule:
You can take Atorvastatin once a day at any time. Take the drug at the same time every day. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Atorvastatin may interact with:
– Cyclosporine
– Red yeast rice
St John’s Wort 

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Atorvastatin in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Atorvastatin is a prescription-only medicine and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Atorvastatin in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.