Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Alcohol: People who drink large quantities of alcohol while taking this medication should be closely monitored by their doctor. Talk to your doctor to find out what your daily maximum alcohol intake should be.
Diabetes: Amlodipine - atorvastatin may cause an increase in blood sugar levels (may cause a loss of blood glucose control) and glucose tolerance may change. People with diabetes may find it necessary to monitor their blood sugar more frequently while using this medication.
If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Diet and exercise: This medication is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. Remember that the medication works best if combined with exercise and a low-fat, low-salt diet.
Dizziness: Amlodipine - atorvastatin can cause severe dizziness, especially when rising from a sitting or lying position. This is more likely to occur when starting to take this medication, when the dose is increased or when other medications with similar side effects are being taken. To prevent dizziness, rise slowly from a lying or sitting position. If this medication makes you dizzy, don't drive or operate machinery.
Kidney function: Poor kidney function may put you at an increased risk of developing muscle effects. If you have reduced kidney function or a history of reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Laboratory tests show that signs of harmful effects to the liver may occur for a small percentage of people who take this medication for long periods of time. When this medication is stopped, liver function usually slowly returns to normal. Your doctor will monitor you by having tests done regularly to monitor your liver function. If you have active liver disease or unexplained abnormal liver test results, you should not take this medication.
If you have a history of liver disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Muscle effects: This medication contains atorvastatin. In rare cases, severe muscle pain, cramps, and weakness have been associated with the use of statin medications (e.g., atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, or simvastatin), especially at higher doses. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:
- are frail (i.e., in poor health or weak)
- are more than 65 years old
- are taking niacin or a fibrate medication (e.g., bezafibrate, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate)
- participate in excessive physical exercise
- have a history of muscle pain or weakness while taking other statins (such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin)
- have a personal or family history of inherited muscle problems
- have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism or low thyroid)
- have diabetes
- have kidney or liver problems
- have undergone surgery or had any traumatic injury
- regularly drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks per day
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, weakness or cramps, or any brown or discoloured urine, particularly if you are also experiencing malaise (a general feeling of being unwell) or fever.
Recent stroke or mini-stroke: If you have had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or "mini-stroke" in the past six months, you may be at an increased risk of having another stroke if you take this medication. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication.
Serious allergic reaction: This medication can cause severe allergic reactions. If you develop symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (tightness in the chest or wheezing; fast or irregular heartbeat; skin rash; hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat), get immediate medical attention.
Skin reactions: Although uncommon, the atorvastatin component of this medication has been linked to serious skin reactions. If you experience symptoms of a serious skin reaction (such as skin rash; redness of the skin; skin peeling; or blisters on the lips, eyes, or mouth) with fever, chills, headache, cough, or body aches, contact your physician immediately.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be taken by pregnant women as it can harm the developing baby. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it immediately and call your doctor.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if amlodipine passes into breast milk. Atorvastatin does pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of the amlodipine - atorvastatin combination have not been established for children. The use of amlodipine and atorvastatin individually with children has been studied for treating specific conditions. Discuss the risks and benefits of using this medication for children with your doctor.
Seniors: Seniors may require a lower dose than younger people. Your doctor will monitor you closely for side effects.