FDA Approves Pfizer's Lipitor

Lipitor (atorvastatin) is in a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or "statins." Atorvastatin reduces levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

Lipitor is used to treat high cholesterol. Lipitor is also used to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors.

Lipitor is used in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

Along with diet and exercise, LIPITOR is proven to lower "bad" cholesterol by 39%-60% (average effect depending on dose).

And LIPITOR, along with diet, is clinically proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with heart disease or several common risk factors for heart disease. Common risk factors include family history of early heart disease, high blood pressure, low good cholesterol, age, and smoking.

LIPITOR is the #1 prescribed branded cholesterol-lowering medicine in the world, LIPITOR is one of the most widely studied medicines in the world—with more than 17 years of research. It has been studied in over 400 ongoing or completed clinical studies that included over 80,000 patients.

Talk to your doctor about high cholesterol and your treatment options. And ask if LIPITOR is right for you.

Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) is a prescription medication used to treat a number of conditions related to heart disease. Approved uses for Lipitor include:

Lowering cholesterol in people with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Lipitor can reduce total cholesterol, LDL ("bad cholesterol"), ApoB cholesterol (another type of "bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides, as well as raise HDL ("good cholesterol").

Lowering triglycerides in people with high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).

As an add-on treatment in people with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia to help lower total and LDL cholesterol.

Reducing the risk of heart disease in people at risk for it.

Reducing the risk of complications in people who already have heart disease.

Lipitor tablets contain the active ingredient atorvastatin, which is a type of medicine called a statin. It works by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver. Atorvastatin is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.

For the sake of simplicity, there are two sorts of cholesterol; a 'bad' sort called low density lipoprotein (LDL) and a 'good' sort called high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is deposited in the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease by clogging and narrowing the arteries (atherosclerosis), while HDL actually protects the arteries against this.

Atorvastatin decreases the production of LDL cholesterol by blocking the action of the enzyme in the liver (called HMG-CoA reductase) that is responsible for its production. This decreases the amount of cholesterol in the liver cells, which causes them to take up LDL cholesterol from the blood. The decreased cholesterol production and increased removal of LDL cholesterol from the blood ultimately results in lowered blood cholesterol levels.