ATC categoryCardiology, angiology
ATC subcategoryНypolipidemic agents
Each film-coated tablet contains:
Active ingredients: Atorvastatin (as atorvastatin calcium trihydrate) – 20mg;
For a full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
Oval biconvex coated one-sided scored white tablets, оdorless.
Atorvastatin is indicated as an adjunct to diet for reduction of elevated total cholesterol (total-C), LDL- cholesterol (LDL-C), apolipoprotein B, and triglycerides in adults, adolescents and children aged 10 years or older with primary hypercholesterolaemia including familial hypercholesterolaemia (heterozygous variant) or combined (mixed) hyperlipidaemia (Corresponding to Types IIa and IIb of the Fredrickson classification) when response to diet and other nonpharmacological measures is inadequate.
Atorvastatin is also indicated to reduce total-C and LDL-C in adults with homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia as an adjunct to other lipid-lowering treatments (e.g. LDL apheresis) or if such treatments are unavailable.
Prevention of cardiovascular disease
Prevention of cardiovascular events in adult patients estimated to have a high risk for a first cardiovascular event (see section 5.1), as an adjunct to correction of other risk factors.
The patient should be placed on a standard cholesterol-lowering diet before receiving Atorvastatin and should continue on this diet during treatment with Atorvastatin.
The dose should be individualised according to baseline LDL-C levels, the goal of therapy, and patient response.
The usual starting dose is 10 mg once a day. Adjustment of dose should be made at intervals of 4 weeks or more. The maximum dose is 80 mg once a day.
Primary hypercholesterolaemia and combined (mixed) hyperlipidaemia
The majority of patients are controlled with Atorvastatin 10 mg once a day. A therapeutic response is evident within 2 weeks, and the maximum therapeutic response is usually achieved within 4 weeks. The response is maintained during chronic therapy.
Heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia
Patients should be started with Atorvastatin 10 mg daily. Doses should be individualised and adjusted every 4 weeks to 40 mg daily. Thereafter, either the dose may be increased to a maximum of 80 mg daily or a bile acid sequestrant may be combined with 40 mg atorvastatin once daily.
Homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia
Only limited data are available (see section 5.1).
The dose of atorvastatin in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is 10 to 80 mg daily (see section 5.1). Atorvastatin should be used as an adjunct to other lipid-lowering treatments (e.g. LDL apheresis) in these patients or if such treatments are unavailable.
In the primary prevention trials the dose was 10 mg/day. Higher doses may be necessary in order to attain (LDL-) cholesterol levels according to current guidelines.
Co-administration with other medicines
In patients taking the hepatitis C antiviral agents elbasvir/grazoprevir or letermovir for cytomegalovirus infection prophylaxis concomitantly with atorvastatin, the dose of atorvastatin should not exceed 20 mg/day (see sections 4.4 and 4.5). Use of atorvastatin is not recommended in patients taking letermovir co- administered with ciclosporin (see sections 4.4 and 4.5).
Patients with renal impairment
No adjustment of dose is required (see section 4.4).
Patients with hepatic impairment
Atorvastatin should be used with caution in patients with hepatic impairment (see sections 4.4 and 5.2). Atorvastatin is contraindicated in patients with active liver disease (see section 4.3).
Efficacy and safety in patients older than 70 using recommended doses are similar to those seen in the general population.
Paediatric use should only be carried out by physicians experienced in the treatment of paediatric hyperlipidaemia and patients should be re-evaluated on a regular basis to assess progress.
For patients with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia aged 10 years and above, the recommended starting dose of atorvastatin is 10 mg per day (see section 5.1). The dose may be increased to 80 mg daily, according to the response and tolerability. Doses should be individualised according to the recommended goal of therapy.
Adjustments should be made at intervals of 4 weeks or more. The dose titration to 80 mg daily is supported by study data in adults and by limited clinical data from studies in children with Heterozygous FamilialHypercholesterolemia (see sections 4.8 and 5.1).
Other pharmaceutical forms/strengths may be more appropriate for this population.
Method of administration
Atorvastatin is for oral administration. Each daily dose of atorvastatin is given all at once and may be given at any time of day with or without food.
Liver function tests should be performed before the initiation of treatment and periodically thereafter. Patients who develop any signs or symptoms suggestive of liver injury should have liver function tests performed. Patients who develop increased transaminase levels should be monitored until the abnormality(ies) resolve. Should an increase in ALT or AST of greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal persist, reduction of dose or withdrawal of atorvastatin is recommended. Atorvastatin should be used with caution in patients who consume substantial quantities of alcohol and/or have a history of liver disease.
Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL)
In a post-hoc analysis of stroke subtypes in patients without CHD who had a recent stroke or TIA there was a higher incidence of haemorrhagic stroke in patients initiated on atorvastatin 80 mg compared to placebo. The increased risk was particularly noted in patients with prior haemorrhagic stroke or lacunar infarct at study entry. For patients with prior haemorrhagic stroke or lacunar infarct, the balance of risks and benefits of atorvastatin 80 mg is uncertain and the potential risk of haemorrhagic stroke should be carefully considered before initiating treatment.
Sceletal muscle effects
Atorvastatin, like other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, may in rare occasions affect the skeletal muscle and cause myalgia, myositis, and myopathy that may progress to rhabdomyolysis, a potentially life- threatening condition characterised by markedly elevated creatine kinase (CK) levels (> 10 times ULN), myoglobinaemia and myoglobinuria which may lead to renal failure.
There have been very rare reports of an immune-mediated necrotising myopathy (IMNM) during or after treatment with some statins. IMNM is clinically characterised by persistent proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum creatine kinase, which persist despite discontinuation of statin treatment.
Before the treatment
As with other statins atorvastatin should be prescribed with caution in patients with pre-disposing factors for rhabdomyolysis. A creatine phosphokinase (CPK) level should be measured before starting treatment in the following situations:
In such situations, the risk of treatment should be considered in relation to possible benefit and clinical monitoring is recommended.
If CPK levels are significantly elevated (>5 times ULN) at baseline, treatment should not be started.
Creatine kinase measurement
Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) should not be measured following strenuous exercise or in the presence of any plausible alternative cause of CPK increase as this makes value interpretation difficult. If CPK levels are significantly elevated at baseline (>5 times ULN), levels should be remeasured within 5 to 7 days later to confirm the results.
Whilst on treatment
Concomitant treatment with other medicinal products
Risk of rhabdomyolysis is increased when atorvastatin is administered concomitantly with certain medicinal products that may increase the plasma concentration of atorvastatin such as potent inhibitors of CYP3A4 or transport proteins (e.g. ciclosporine, telithromycin, clarithromycin, delavirdine, stiripentol, ketoconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole and HIV protease inhibitors including ritonavir, lopinavir, atazanavir, indinavir, darunavir, tipranavir/ritonavir etc). The risk of myopathy may also be increased with the concomitant use of gemfibrozil and other fibric acid derivates, antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV), (boceprevir, telaprevir, elbasvir/grazoprevir) erythromycin, niacin or ezetimibe. If possible, alternative (non-interacting) therapies should be considered instead of these medicinal products.
There have been very rare reports of an immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM) during or after treatment with some statins. IMNM is clinically characterised by persistent proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum creatine kinase, which persist despite discontinuation of statin treatment.
In cases where co-administration of these medicinal products with atorvastatin is necessary, the benefit and the risk of concurrent treatment should be carefully considered. When patients are receiving medicinal products that increase the plasma concentration of atorvastatin, a lower maximum dose of atorvastatin is recommended. In addition, in the case of potent CYP3A4 inhibitors, a lower starting dose of atorvastatin should be considered and appropriate clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended (see section 4.5).
Atorvastatin must not be co-administered with systemic formulations of fusidic acid or within 7 days of stopping fusidic acid treatment. In patients where the use of systemic fusidic acid is considered essential, statin treatment should be discontinued throughout the duration of fusidic acid treatment. There have been reports of rhabdomyolysis (including some fatalities) in patients receiving fusidic acid and statins in combination (see section 4.5). The patient should be advised to seek medical advice immediately if they experience any symptoms of muscle weakness, pain or tenderness.
Statin therapy may be re-introduced seven days after the last dose of fusidic acid.
In exceptional circumstances, where prolonged systemic fusidic acid is needed, e.g., for the treatment of severe infections, the need for co-administration of atorvastatine and fusidic acid should only be considered on a case by case basis and under close medical supervision.
Interstitial lung disease
Exceptional cases of interstitial lung disease have been reported with some statins, especially with long term therapy.Presenting features can include dyspnoea, non-productive cough and deterioration in general health (fatigue, weight loss and fever). If it is suspected a patient has developed interstitial lung disease, statin therapy should be discontinued.
Some evidence suggests that statins as a class raise blood glucose and in some patients, at high risk of future diabetes, may produce a level of hyperglycaemia where formal diabetes care is appropriate. This risk, however, is outweighed by the reduction in vascular risk with statins and therefore should not be a reason for stopping statin treatment. Patients at risk (fasting glucose 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L, BMI>30kg/m2, raised triglycerides, hypertension) should be monitored both clinically and biochemically according to national guidelines.
No clinically significant effect on growth and sexual maturation was observed in a 3year study based on the assessment of overall maturation and development, assessment of Tanner Stage, and measurement of height and weight (see section 4.8).
Atorvastatin contains lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactose deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.
Effect of co-administered medicinal products on atorvastatin
Atorvastatin is metabolised by cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and is a substrate of the hepatic transporters, organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) and 1B3 (OATP1B3) transporter. Metabolites of atorvastatin are substrates of OATP1B1. Atorvastatin is also identified as a substrate of the multi-drug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), which may limit the intestinal absorption and biliary clearance of atorvastatin (see section 5.2). Concomitant administration of medicinal products that are inhibitors of CYP3A4 or transport proteins may lead to increased plasma concentrations of atorvastatin and an increased risk of myopathy. The risk might also be increased at concomitant administration of atorvastatin with other medicinal products that have a potential to induce myopathy, such as fibric acid derivates and ezetimibe (see section 4.4).
CYP3A4 inhibitors: Potent CYP3A4 inhibitors have been shown to lead to markedly increased concentrations of atorvastatin (see Table 1 and specific information below). Co-administration of potent CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g. ciclosporin, telithromycin, clarithromycin, delavirdine, stiripentol, ketoconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, some antivirals used in the treatement of HCV (e.g. elbasvir/grazoprevir) and HIV protease inhibitors including ritonavir, lopinavir, atazanavir, indinavir, darunavir, etc.) should be avoided if possible. In cases where co-administration of these medicinal products with atorvastatin cannot be avoided lower starting and maximum doses of atorvastatin should be considered and appropriate clinical monitoring of the patient is recommended (see Table 1).
Moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g. erythromycin, diltiazem, verapamil and fluconazole) may increase plasma concentrations of atorvastatin (see Table 1).. An increased risk of myopathy has been observed with the use of erythromycin in combination with statins. Interaction studies evaluating the effects of amiodarone or verapamil on atorvastatin have not been conducted. Both amiodarone and verapamil are known to inhibit CYP3A4 activity and co-administration with atorvastatin may result in increased exposure to atorvastatin. Therefore, a lower maximum dose of atorvastatin should be considered and appropriate clinical monitoring of the patient is recommended when concomitantly used with moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors. Appropriate clinical monitoring is recommended after initiation or following dose adjustments of the inhibitor.
Diltiazem hydrochloride: Co-administration of atorvastatin 40 mg with diltiazem 240 mg resulted in a 51% increase in atorvastatin AUC. After initiation of diltiazem or following dosage adjustment, lipid levels should be monitored to ensure that the lowest dose necessary of atorvastatin is used.
Ezetimibe:The use of ezetimibe alone is associated with muscle related events, including rhabdomyolysis. The risk of these events may therefore be increased with concomitant use of ezetimibe and atorvastatin. Appropriate clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended.
Grapefruit juice: Contains one or more components that inhibit CYP3A4 and can increase plasma concentrations of drugs metabolised by CYP3A4. Intake of one 240 ml glass of grapefruit juice resulted in an increase in atorvastatin AUC of 37 % and a decreased AUC of 20.4 % for the active orthohydroxy metabolite. However, large quantities of grapefruit juice (over 1.2L daily for 1 day) increased AUC of atorvastatin 2.5 fold and AUC of active (atorvastatin and metabolites) HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors 1.3 fold. Concomitant intake of large quantities of grapefruit juice and atorvastatin is therefore not recommended.
Inducers of cytochrome P450 3A4: Concomitant administration of atorvastatin with inducers of cytochrome P450 3A4 (eg efavirenz, rifampin, St. John’s Wort) can lead to variable reductions in plasma concentrations of atorvastatin. Due to the dual interaction mechanism of rifampin, (cytochrome P450 3A4 induction and inhibition of hepatocyte uptake transporter OATP1B1), simultaneous co-administration of atorvastatin with rifampin is recommended, as delayed administration of atorvastatin after administration of rifampin has been associated with a significant reduction in atorvastatin plasma concentrations. The effect of rifampin on atorvastatin concentrations in hepatocytes is, however, unknown and if concomitant administration cannot be avoided, patients should be carefully monitored for efficacy.
Transport inhibitors: Inhibitors of transport proteins (e.g. ciclosporin) can increase the systemic exposure of atorvastatin (see Table 1). The effect of inhibition of hepatic uptake transporters on atorvastatin concentrations in hepatocytes is unknown. If concomitant administration cannot be avoided, a dose reduction and clinical monitoring for efficacy is recommended (see Table 1).
Verapamil and amiodarone: Interaction studies with atorvastatin and verapamil or amiodarone have not been conducted. Both verapamil and amiodarone are known to inhibit CYP3A4 activity and co- administration with atorvastatin may result in increased exposure to atorvastatin. Lipid levels should be monitored to ensure that the lowest dose necessary of atorvastatin is used.
Other concomitant therapy
Gemfibrozil/fibrates: The use of fibrates alone is occasionally associated with myopathy. The risk of atorvastatin-induced myopathy may be increased with the concomitant use of fibrates. Concomitant administration of gemfibrozil 600 mg BID resulted in a 24% increase in atorvastatin AUC. If concomitant administration cannot be avoided, the lowest dose of atorvastatin to achieve the therapeutic objective should be used and the patients should be appropriately monitored (see section 4.4).
Digoxin: When multiple doses of digoxin and 10 mg atorvastatin were co-administered, steady state plasma digoxin concentrations were unaffected. However, digoxin concentrations increased approximately 20% following administration of digoxin with 80 mg atorvastatin daily. Patients taking digoxin should be monitored appropriately.
Oral contraceptives: Administration of atorvastatin with an oral contraceptive containing norethisterone and ethinyl oestradiol produced increases in plasma concentrations of norethisterone and ethinyl oestradiol. These increased concentrations should be considered when selecting oral contraceptive doses.
Colestipol: Plasma concentrations of atorvastatin were lower (approximately 25%) when colestipol was administered with atorvastatin. However, lipid effects were greater when atorvastatin and colestipol were administered together than when either drug was given alone.
Antacid: Administration of atorvastatin with an oral antacid suspension containing magnesium and aluminium hydroxides decreased atorvastatin plasma concentrations approximately 35%; however, LDLC reduction was not altered.
Warfarin: Administration of atorvastatin with warfarin caused a minimal decrease in prothrombin time (mean ± SE of 1.7 ± 0.4 seconds) during the first 4 days of dosing with 80 mg atorvastatin. Dosing continued for 15 days and prothrombin time returned to normal by the end of atorvastatin treatment. Although only very rare cases of clinically significant anticoagulant interactions have been reported, prothrombin time should be determined before starting atorvastatin in patients taking coumarin anticoagulants and frequently enough during early therapy to ensure that no significant alteration of prothrombin time occurs. Once a stable prothrombin time has been documented, prothrombin times can be monitored at the intervals usually recommended for patients on coumarin anticoagulants. If the dose of atorvastatin is changed or discontinued, the same procedure should be repeated. Atorvastatin therapy has not been associated with bleeding or with changes in prothrombin time in patients not taking anticoagulants.
Phenazone: Co-administration of multiple doses of atorvastatin and phenazone showed little or no detectable effect in the clearance of phenazone.
Cimetidine: An interaction study with cimetidine and atorvastatin was conducted, and no interaction was seen.
Amlodipine: In a drug-drug interaction study in healthy subjects, co-administration of atorvastatin 80 mg and amlodipine 10 mg resulted in an 18% increase in atorvastatin AUC.
Fusidic acid: Although interaction studies with atorvastatin and fusidic acid have not been conducted, severe muscle problems such as rhabdomyolysis have been reported in post-marketing experience with this combination. Patients should be closely monitored and temporary suspension of atorvastatin treatment may be appropriate.
Colchicine: Although interaction studies with atorvastatin and colchicine have not been conducted, cases of myopathy have been reported with atorvastatin co-administered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing atorvastatin with colchicine.
Paediatric population: Drug-drug interaction studies have only been performed in adults. The extent of interactions in the paediatric population is not known. The above mentioned interactions for adults and the warnings in section 4.4 should be taken into account for the paediatric population.
Other: In clinical studies in which atorvastatin was administered with antihypertensives or hypoglycemic agents no clinically significant interactions were seen.
Table 1: Effect of co-administered medicinal products on the pharmacokinetics of atorvastatin
Co-administered medicinal product and dosing regimen
Ratio of AUC&
Tipranavir 500 mg BID/ Ritonavir 200 mg BID, 8 days
(days 14 to 21)
40 mg on day 1, 10 mg on day 20
↑ 9.4 fold
In cases where co- administration with atorvastatin is necessary, do not exceed 10 mg atorvastatin daily. Clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended
Telaprevir 750 mg q8h,10 days
20 mg, SD
↑ 7.9 fold
Ciclosporin 5.2 mg/kg/day, stable dose
10 mg OD for 28 days
↑ 8.7 fold
Lopinavir 400 mg BID/ Ritonavir 100 mg BID, 14 days
20 mg OD for 4 days
↑ 5.9 fold
In cases where co- administration with atorvastatin is necessary, lower maintenance doses of atorvastatin are recommended. At atorvastatin doses exceeding 20 mg, clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended.
Clarithromycin 500 mg BID, 9 days
80 mg OD for 8 days
↑ 4.4 fold
Saquinavir 400 mg BID/ Ritonavir (300 mg BID from days 5-7, increased to 400 mg
BID on day 8), days 4-18, 30 min after atorvastatin dosing
40 mg OD for 4 days
↑ 3.9 fold
In cases where co- administration with atorvastatin is necessary, lower maintenance doses of atorvastatin are recommended. At atorvastatin doses exceeding 40 mg, clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended.
Darunavir 300 mg BID/ Ritonavir 100 mg BID, 9 days
10 mg OD for 4 days
↑ 3.3 fold
Itraconazole 200mg OD,4 days
40 mg SD
Fosamprenavir 700 mg BID/ Ritonavir 100 mg BID, 14 days
↑ 2.5 fold
Fosamprenavir 1400 mg BID, 14 days
↑ 2.3 fold
Nelfinavir 1250 mg BID, 14 days
↑ 1.7 fold^
No specific recommendation
Grapefruit Juice, 240 mL OD *
40 mg, SD
Concomitant intake of large quantities of grapefruit juice
and atorvastatin is not recommended.
Diltiazem 240 mg OD, 28 days
After initiation or following dose adjustments of diltiazem, appropriate clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended
Erythromycin 500 mg QID, 7 days
10 mg, SD
Lower maximum dose and clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended.
Amlodipine 10 mg, single dose
80 mg, SD
No specific recommendation.
Cimetidine 300 mg QID, 2 weeks
10 mg OD for 2 weeks
↓ less than 1%^
Antacid suspension of magne- sium and aluminium hydroxi- des, 30 mL QID, 2 weeks
10 mg OD for 4 weeks
Efavirenz 600 mg OD, 14 days
10 mg for 3 days
Rifampin 600 mg OD, 7 days (co-administered)
If co-administration cannot be avoided, simultaneous co- administration of atorvastatin with rifampin is recommended, with clinical monitoring.
Rifampin 600 mg OD, 5 days (doses separated)
Gemfibrozil 600 mg BID, 7 days
Lower starting dose and clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended.
Fenofibrate 160 mg OD, 7 days
Glecaprevir 400 mg OD/ Pibrentasvir 120 mg OD, 7 days
10 mg OD
for 7 days
Co-administration with products containing glecaprevir or pibrentasvir is contraindicated (see section 4.3).
Elbasvir 50 mg OD/ Grazoprevir 200 mg OD, 13 days
10 mg SD
The dose of atorvastatin should not exceed a daily dose of 20 mg during co-administration with products containing elbasvir or grazoprevir.
Letermovir 480 mg OD, 10 days
20 mg SD
The dose of atorvastatin should notexceed a daily dose of 20 mg during co administration with products containing letermovir.
Colestipol 10 g BID, 24 weeks
40 mg OD for 8 weeks
Boceprevir 800 mg TID, 7
Lower starting dose and
clinical monitoring of these patients is recommended. The dose of atorvastatin should not exceed a daily dose of 20 mg during co-administration with boceprevir.
& Data given as x-fold change represent a simple ratio between co-administration and atorvastatin alone (i.e., 1-fold = no change). Data given as % change represent % difference relative to atorvastatin alone (Represents ratio of treatments – co-administered drug plus atorvastatin versus atorvastatin alone) (i.e., 0% = no change).
# See sections 4.4 and 4.5 for clinical significance.
* Contains one or more components that inhibit CYP3A4 and can increase plasma concentrations of medicinal products metabolized by CYP3A4. Intake of one 240 ml glass of grapefruit juice also resulted in a decreased AUC of 20.4% for the active orthohydroxy metabolite. Large quantities of grapefruit juice (over 1.2 l daily for 5 days) increased AUC of atorvastatin 2.5 fold and AUC of active (atorvastatin and metabolites). HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors 1.3 fold.
** Ratio based on a single sample taken 8-16 h post dose.
^ Total atorvastatin equivalent activity. Increase is indicated as “↑”, decrease as “↓”
OD = once daily; SD = single dose; BID = twice daily; TID = three times daily; QID = four times daily
Atorvastatin and dosing regimen
Co-administered medicinal product
Medicinal product/Dose (mg)
Change in AUC&
80 mg OD for 10 days
Digoxin 0.25 mg OD, 20 days
Patients taking digoxin should be monitored appropriately.
40 mg OD for 22 days
Oral contraceptive OD, 2 months
– norethindrone 1 mg
-ethinyl estradiol 35 µg
80 mg OD for 15 days
* Phenazone, 600 mg SD
Tipranavir 500 mg
BID/ritonavir 200 mg BID, 7 days
10 mg, OD for 4 days
Fosamprenavir 700 mg
BID/ritonavir 100 mg BID, 14 days
& Data given as % change represent % difference relative to medicinal product alone(Represents ratio of treatments – co-administered drug plus atorvastatin versus atorvastatin alone). (i.e., 0% = no change)
* Co-administration of multiple doses of atorvastatin and phenazone showed little or no detectable effect in the clearance of phenazone.
Increase is indicated as “↑”, decrease as “↓” OD = once daily; SD = single dose
Women of childbearing potential
Women of child-bearing potential should use appropriate contraceptive measures during treatment (see section 4.3).
Atorvastatin is contraindicated during pregnancy. Safety in pregnant women has not been established. No controlled clinical trials with atorvastatin have been conducted in pregnant women. Rare reports of congenital anomalies following intrauterine exposure to HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have been received. Animal studies have shown toxicity to reproduction (see section 5.3).
Maternal treatment with atorvastatin may reduce the fetal levels of mevalonate which is a precursor of cholesterol biosynthesis. Atherosclerosis is a chronic process, and ordinarily discontinuation of lipid- lowering medicinal products during pregnancy should have little impact on the long-term risk associated with primary hypercholesterolaemia.
For these reasons, Atorvastatin should not be used in women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or suspect they are pregnant. Treatment with Atorastatin should be suspended for the duration of pregnancy or until it has been determined that the woman is not pregnant.
It is not known whether atorvastatin or its metabolites are excreted in human milk. In rats, plasma concentrations of atorvastatin and its active metabolites are similar to those in milk (see section 5.3). Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, women taking Atorvastatin should not breast-feed their infants. Atorvastatin is contraindicated during breastfeeding.
In animal studies atorvastatin had no effect on male or female fertility (see section 5.3).
Atorvastatin has negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines.
In the atorvastatin placebo-controlled clinical trial database of 16,066 (8755 atorvastatin vs. 7311 placebo) patients treated for a mean period of 53 weeks, 5.2% of patients on atorvastatin discontinued due to adverse reactions compared to 4.0% of the patients on placebo.
Based on data from clinical studies and extensive post-marketing experience, the following table presents the adverse reaction profile for Atorvastatin.
Estimated frequencies of reactions are ranked according to the following convention: common (≥ 1/100, < 1/10); uncommon (≥ 1/1,000, < 1/100); rare (≥ 1/10,000, < 1/1,000); very rare (≤ 1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).
MedDRA system organ classes
Infections and infestations
Blood and lymphatic system
Immune system disorders
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Weight gain, Anorexia
Nervous system disorders
Dizziness, Paraesthesia, Hypoesthesia, Dysgeusia,
Ear and labyrinth disorders
Respiratory, thoracic and
Constipation, Flatulence, Dyspepsia, Nausea,
Abdominal pain upper and lower,
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Urticaria, Skin rash, Pruritus,
Angioneurotic oedema, Dermatitis bullous including erythema multiforme,
Stevens-Johnson syndrome Toxic epidermal necrolysis
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
Pain in extremity, Muscle spasms, Joint swelling,
Myopathy, Myositis, Rhabdomyolysis Muscle rupture
Tendonopathy, sometimes complicated by rupture
myopathy (see section 4.4)
Reproductive system and
General disorders and administration site conditions
Malaise, Asthenia, Chest pain,
Peripheral oedema, Fatigue,
Liver function test abnormal, Blood creatine kinase
White blood cells urine positive
As with other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors elevated serum transaminases have been reported in patients receiving Atorvastatin. These changes were usually mild, transient, and did not require interruption of treatment. Clinically important (> 3 times upper normal limit) elevations in serum transaminases occurred in 0.8% of the patients on Atorvastatin . These elevations were dose related and were reversible in all patients. Elevated creatine kinase (CK) levels greater than 3 times upper limit of normal occurred in 2.5% of the patients on Atorvastatin , similar to other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors in clinical trials. Levels above 10 times the normal upper range occurred in 0.4% atorvastatintreated patients (see section 4.4.)
Elevated serum ALT levels have been reported in 1.3% of patients receiving Atorvastatin Clinically important (>3 times upper normal limit) elevations in serum ALT levels occurred in 19 of the 2483 (0.8%) patients on Atorvastatin It was dose related and was reversible in all 19 patients. In 10 cases, the increase was first observed within 12 weeks of starting the treatment. Only 1 case occurred after 36 weeks and only 1 patient had symptoms suggestive of hepatitis. Treatment was discontinued in only 9 of these 19 cases. Elevated serum CPK levels (>3 times upper normal limit) occurred in 62 of the 2452 (2.5%) patients on Atorvastatin compared with 3.1% with other HMGCoA reductase inhibitors in clinical trials. Levels above 10 times the normal upper range occurred in only 11 (0.4%) Atorvastatin -treated patients. Only 3 (0.1%) of these 11 patients had concurrent muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. (see section 4.4).
Paediatric patients aged from 10 to 17 years of age treated with atorvastatin had an adverse experience profile generally similar to that of patients treated with placebo, the most common adverse experiences observed in both groups, regardless of causality assessment, were infections. No clinically significant effect on growth and sexual maturation was observed in a 3 year study based on the assessment of overall maturation and development, аssessment of Tanner Stage, and measurement of height and weight. The safety and tolerability profile in paediatric patients was similar to the known safety profile of atorvastatin in adult patients
The clinical safety database includes safety data for 520 paediatric patients who received atorvastatin, among which 7 patients were < 6 years old, 121 patients were in the age range of 6 to 9, and 392 patients were in the age range of 10 to 17. Based on the data available, the requency, type and severity of adverse reactions in children is similar to adults.
The following adverse events have been reported with some statins:
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via Arpimed “LLC” by going to www.arpimed.com and fill out the appropriate form ″Report an adverse reaction or inefficiency of drug″. Hotline number: (+374 55) 05 79 86. And by using Scientific Centre of Drug and Medical Technology Expertise after academician E. Gabrielyan ″CJSC″, going to the site: www.pharm.am in ″Report about adverse effect of medicine″ section and fill out the ″Report of adverse reaction or manufacturing problem of medicinal product″. Hotline numbers: +37410200505; +37496220505.
Specific treatment is not available for Atorvastatin overdose. Should an overdose occur, the patient should be treated symptomatically and supportive measures instituted, as required. Liver function tests should be performed and serum CK levels should be monitored. Due to extensive atorvastatin binding to plasma proteins, haemodialysis is not expected to significantly enhance atorvastatin clearance.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Lipid modifying agents, HMG-CoA-reductase inhibitors, ATC code:C10AA05
Mechanism of action
Atorvastatin is a selective, competitive inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme responsible for the conversion of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A to mevalonate, a precursor of sterols, including cholesterol. Triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver are incorporated into very low- density lipoproteins (VLDL) and released into the plasma for delivery to peripheral tissues. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is formed from VLDL and is catabolized primarily through the receptor with high affinity to LDL (LDL receptor).
Atorvastatin lowers plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein serum concentrations by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase and subsequently cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver and increases the number of hepatic LDL receptors on the cell surface for enhanced uptake and catabolism of LDL.
Atorvastatin reduces LDL production and the number of LDL particles. Atorvastatin produces a profound and sustained increase in LDL receptor activity coupled with a beneficial change in the quality of circulating LDL particles. Approximately 70% of circulating inhibitory activity for HMGCoA reductase is attributed to active metabolites. Atorvastatin has been shown to reduce totalC, LDLC, apolipoprotein B, and triglycerides while producing variable increases in HDLC in a dose-response study as shown in Table 3 below.
Table 3. Dose Response in Patients with Primary Hypercholesterolaemia
Atorvastatin Dose (mg)
Adjusted Mean % Change from Baseline
Atorvastatin is effective in reducing LDL-C in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia, a population that has not usually responded to lipid-lowering medicinal products.
Clinical efficacy and safety
Atorvastatin has been shown to reduce concentrations of total-C (30% – 46%), LDL-C (41% – 61%), apolipoprotein B (34% – 50%), and triglycerides (14% – 33%) while producing variable increases in HDL-C and apolipoprotein A1 in a dose response study. These results are consistent in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia, nonfamilial forms of hypercholesterolaemia, and mixed hyperlipidaemia, including patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Reductions in total-C, LDL-C, and apolipoprotein B have been proven to reduce risk for cardiovascular events and cardiovascular mortality.
In a multicenter 8 week open-label compassionate-use study with an optional extension phase of variable length, 335 patients were enrolled, 89 of which were identified as homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia patients. From these 89 patients, the mean percent reduction in LDL-C was approximately 20%. Atorvastatin was administered at doses up to 80 mg/day.
In the Reversing Atherosclerosis with Aggressive Lipid- Lowering Study (REVERSAL), the effect of intensive lipid lowering with atorvastatin 80 mg and standard degree of lipid lowering with pravastatin 40 mg on coronary atherosclerosis was assessed by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), during angiography, in patients with coronary heart disease. In this randomised, double- blind, multicenter, controlled clinical trial, IVUS was performed at baseline and at 18 months in 502 patients. In the atorvastatin group (n=253), there was no progression of atherosclerosis evaluated by the percentage change in atheroma volume in a pre- defined target vessel with a stenosis between 20% and 50%.
The median percent change, from baseline, in total atheroma volume (the primary study criteria) was -0.4% (p=0.98) in the atorvastatin group and +2.7% (p=0.001) in the pravastatin group (n=249). When compared to pravastatin the effects of atorvastatin were statistically significant (p=0.02). The effect of intensive lipid lowering on cardiovascular endpoints (e. g. need for revascularisation, non fatal myocardial infarction, coronary death) was not investigated in this study.
In the atorvastatin group, LDL-C was reduced to a mean of 2.04 mmol/L ± 0.8 (78.9 mg/dl ± 30) from baseline 3.89 mmol/L ± 0.7 (150 mg/dl ± 28) and in the pravastatin group, LDL-C was reduced to a mean of 2.85 mmol/L ± 0.7 (110 mg/dl ± 26) from baseline 3.89 mmol/L ± 0.7 (150 mg/dl ± 26) (p<0.0001). Atorvastatin also significantly reduced mean TC by 34.1% (pravastatin: -18.4%, p<0.0001), mean TG levels by 20% (pravastatin: -6.8%, p<0.0009), and mean apolipoprotein B by 39.1% (pravastatin: -22.0%, p<0.0001). Atorvastatin increased mean HDL-C by 2.9% (pravastatin: +5.6%, p=NS). There was a 36.4% mean reduction in CRP in the atorvastatin group compared to a 5.2% reduction in the pravastatin group (p<0.0001).
Study results were obtained with the 80 mg dose strength. Therefore, they cannot be extrapolated to the lower dose strengths.
The safety and tolerability profiles of the two treatment groups were comparable.
The effect of intensive lipid lowering on major cardiovascular endpoints was not investigated in this study. Therefore, the clinical significance of these imaging results with regard to the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events is unknown.
Acute coronary syndrome
In the MIRACL study, atorvastatin 80 mg has been evaluated in 3,086 patients (atorvastatin n=1,538; placebo n=1,548) with an acute coronary syndrome (non Q-wave MI or unstable angina). Treatment was initiated during the acute phase after hospital admission and lasted for a period of 16 weeks. Treatment with atorvastatin 80 mg/day increased the time to occurrence of the combined primary endpoint, defined as death from any cause, nonfatal MI, resuscitated cardiac arrest, or angina pectoris with evidence of myocardial ischaemia requiring hospitalization, indicating a risk reduction by 16% (p=0.048). This was mainly due to a 26% reduction in re-hospitalisation for angina pectoris with evidence of myocardial ischaemia (p=0.018). The other secondary endpoints did not reach statistical significance on their own (overall: Placebo: 22.2%, Atorvastatin: 22.4%).
The safety profile of atorvastatin in the MIRACL study was consistent with what is described in section 4.8.
Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolaemia in Paediatric Patients aged 6-17 years old
An 8-week, open-label study to evaluate pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety and tolerability of atorvastatin was conducted in children and adolescents with genetically confirmed heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and baseline LDL-C ≥4 mmol/L. A total of 39 children and adolescents, 6 to 17 years of age, were enrolled. Cohort A included 15 children, 6 to 12 years of age and at Tanner Stage 1. Cohort B included 24 children, 10 to 17 years of age and at Tanner Stage ≥2.
The initial dose of atorvastatin was 5 mg daily of a chewable tablet in Cohort A and 10 mg daily of a tablet formulation in Cohort B. The atorvastatin dose was permitted to be doubled if a subject had not attained target LDL-C of <3.35 mmol/L at Week 4 and if atorvastatin was well tolerated.
Mean values for LDL-C, TC, VLDL-C, and Apo B decreased by Week 2 among all subjects. For subjects whose dose was doubled, additional decreases were observed as early as 2 weeks, at the first assessment, after dose escalation. The mean percent decreases in lipid parameters were similar for both cohorts, regardless of whether subjects remained at their initial dose or doubled their initial dose. At Week 8, on average, the percent change from baseline in LDL-C and TC was approximately 40% and 30%, respectively, over the range of exposures.
In a second open label, single arm study, 271 male and female HeFH children 6-15 years ofage were enrolled and treated with atorvastatin for up to three years. Inclusion in the studyrequired confirmed HeFH and a baseline LDL-C level ≥ 4 mmol/L (approximately 152mg/dL). The study included 139 children at Tanner 1 developmental stage (generally ranging from 6-10 years of age). The dosage of atorvastatin (once daily) was initiated at 5 mg (chewable tablet) in children less than 10 years of age. Children age 10 and above were initiated at 10 mg atorvastatin (once daily). All children could titrate to higher doses to achieve a target of < 3.35 mmol/L LDL-C. The mean weighted dose for children aged 6 to 9 years was 19.6 mg and the mean weighted dose for children aged 10 years and above was 23.9 mg.
The mean (± SD) baseline LDL-C value was 6.12 (1.26) mmol/L which was approximately 233 (48) mg/dL. See table 3 below for final results.
The data were consistent with no drug effect on any of the parameters of growth and development (i.e., height, weight, BMI, Tanner stage, Investigator assessment of Overall Maturation and Development) in paediatric and adolescent subjects with HeFH receiving atorvastatin treatment over the 3 year study. There was no Investigator assessed drug effect noted in height, weight, BMI by age or by gender by visit.
TABLE 3 Lipid-lowering Effects of Atorvastatin in Adolescent Boys and Girls with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (mmol/L)
Apo B (S.D.)#
TC= total cholesterol; LDL-C = low density lipoprotein cholesterol-C; HDL-C = high density lipoprotein cholesterol-C; TG = triglycerides; Apo B = apolipoprotein B; “Month 36/ET” included final visit data for subjects who ended participation prior to the scheduled 36 month timepoint as well as full 36 month data for subjects competing the 36 month participation; “*”= Month 30 N for this parameter was 207; “**”= Baseline N for this
parameter was 270; “***” = Month 36/ET N for this parameter was 243; “#”=g/L for Apo B.
Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolaemia in Paediatric Patients aged 10-17 years old
In a double-blind, placebo controlled study followed by an open-label phase, 187 boys and postmenarchal girls 10-17 years of age (mean age 14.1 years) with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) or severe hypercholesterolaemia were randomised to atorvastatin (n=140) or placebo (n=47) for 26 weeks and then all received atorvastatin for 26 weeks. The dosage of atorvastatin (once daily) was 10 mg for the first 4 weeks and up-titrated to 20 mg if the LDL-C level was >3.36 mmol/L. Atorvastatin significantly decreased plasma levels of total-C, LDL-C, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B during the 26 week double-blind phase. (see Table 4).
Table 4. Lipid Lowering effects of atorvastatin in adolescent boys and girls with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia or severe hypocholesterolaemia (mean percent change from baseline at endpoint in intention- to-treat-population)
The mean achieved LDL-C value was 3.38 mmol/L (range: 1.81-6.26 mmol/L) in the atorvastatin group compared to 5.91 mmol/L (range: 3.93-9.96 mmol/L) in the placebo group during the 26-week double-blind phase.
An additional paediatric study of atorvastatin versus colestipol in patients with hypercholesterolaemia aged 10-18 years demonstrated that atorvastatin (N=25) caused a significant reduction in LDL-C at week 26 (p<0.05) compared with colestipol (N=31).
A compassionate use study in patients with severe hypercholesterolaemia (including homozygous hypercholesterolaemia) included 46 paediatric patients treated with atorvastatin titrated according to response (some subjects received 80 mg atorvastatin per day). The study lasted 3 years: LDL-cholesterol was lowered by 36%.
In this controlled study, there was no detectable effect on growth or sexual maturation in boys or on menstrual length in girls. The safety and efficacy of doses above 20mg have not been studied in controlled trials in children.The long-term efficacy of atorvastatin therapy in childhood to reduce morbidity and mortality in adulthood has not been established.
The European Medicines Agency has waived the obligation to submit the results of studies with atorvastatin in children aged 0 to less than 6 years in the treatment of heterozygous hypercholesterolaemia and in children aged 0 to less than 18 years in the treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia, combined (mixed) hypercholesterolaemia, primary hypercholesterolaemia and in the prevention of cardiovascular events (see section 4.2 for information on paediatric use).
Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
The effect of atorvastatin on fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease was assessed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial Lipid Lowering Arm (ASCOT-LLA). Patients were hypertensive, 40-79 years of age, with no previous myocardial infarction or treatment for angina, and with TC levels ≤6.5 mmol/L (251 mg/dl). All patients had at least 3 of the pre-defined cardiovascular risk factors: male gender, age ≥55 years, smoking, diabetes, history of CHD in a first-degree relative, TC:HDL-C >6, peripheral vascular disease, left ventricular hypertrophy, prior cerebrovascular event, specific ECG abnormality, proteinuria/albuminuria. Not all included patients were estimated to have a high risk for a first cardiovascular event.
Patients were treated with anti-hypertensive therapy (either amlodipine or atenolol-based regimen) and either atorvastatin 10 mg daily (n=5,168) or placebo (n=5,137).
The absolute and relative risk reduction effect of atorvastatin was as follows:
Relative Risk Reduction (%)
No. of Events (Atorvastatin vs Placebo)
Absolute Risk Reduction1 (%)
Fatal CHD plus non-fatal MI Total cardiovascular events and
100 vs. 154
389 vs. 483
revascularization procedures Total coronary events
178 vs 247
1Based on difference in crude events rates occurring over a median follow-up of 3.3 years. CHD = coronary heart disease; MI = myocardial infarction.
Total mortality and cardiovascular mortality were not significantly reduced (185 vs. 212 events, p=0.17 and 74 vs. 82 events, p=0.51). In the subgroup analyses by gender (81% males, 19% females), a beneficial effect of atorvastatin was seen in males but could not be established in females possibly due to the low event rate in the female subgroup. Overall and cardiovascular mortality were numerically higher in the female patients (38 vs. 30 and 17 vs. 12), but this was not statistically significant. There was significant treatment interaction by antihypertensive baseline therapy. The primary endpoint (fatal CHD plus non-fatal MI) was significantly reduced by atorvastatin in patients treated with Amlodipine (HR 0.47 (0.32- 0.69), p=0.00008), but not in those treated with Atenolol (HR 0.83 (0.59-1.17), p=0.287).
After 3 years treatment with amlodipine or atenolol-based regimen, mean blood pressure fell from 164.2/94.9 to 138.9/80.1 mmHg (atorvastatin) and 164.2/94.3 to 138.9/80.0 mmHg (placebo). After a median of 3.3 years of treatment, there was a statistically significant reduction in the rate of myocardial infarction (a component of the primary endpoint), 1.2% on atorvastatin versus 2.1% on placebo. Fatal and non-fatal ischaemic strokes tended to be lower in the atorvastatin group with a relative risk reduction of 26% (89 vs. 119 events) and an absolute risk reduction of 0.6%. The difference did not reach pre-defined levels of statistical significance. Women constituted 20% of the trial population and a subgroup analysis did not demonstrate any benefit on the primary endpoint of coronary events (fatal CHD plus non-fatal MI) (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.58-2.13).
The effect of atorvastatin on fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease was also assessed in a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial, the Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS) in patients with type 2 diabetes, 40-75 years of age, without prior history of cardiovascular disease, and with LDL-C ≤4.14 mmol/L (160 mg/dl) and TG ≤6.78 mmol/L (600 mg/dl). All patients had at least 1 of the following risk factors: hypertension, current smoking, retinopathy, microalbuminuria or macroalbuminuria.
Patients were treated with either atorvastatin 10 mg daily (n=1,428) or placebo (n=1,410) for a median follow-up of 3.9 years.
Major cardiovascular events (fatal and non-fatal AMI, silent MI, acute CHD death, unstable angina, CABG, PTCA, revascularization, stroke)
83 vs. 127
MI (fatal and non-fatal AMI, silent MI)
38 vs 64
Strokes (Fatal and non-fatal)
21 vs. 39
1Based on difference in crude events rates occurring over a median follow-up of 3.9 years.
AMI= acute myocardial infarction; CABG= coronary artery bypass graft; CHD=coronary heart disease; MI=myocardial infarction; PTCA=percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.
There was no evidence of a difference in the treatment effect by patient’s gender, age, or baseline LDL-C level. A favourable trend was observed regarding the mortality rate (82 deaths in the placebo group vs. 61 deaths in the atorvastatin group, p=0.0592).
In the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) study, the effect of atorvastatin 80 mg daily or placebo on stroke was evaluated in 4731 patients who had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) within the preceding 6 months and no history of coronary heart disease (CHD). Patients were 60% male, 21-92 years of age (average age 63 years), and had an average baseline LDL of 133 mg/dL (3.4 mmol/L). The mean LDL-C was 73 mg/dL (1.9 mmol/L) during treatment with atorvastatin and 129 mg/dL (3.3 mmol/L) during treatment with placebo. Median follow-up was 4.9 years.
Atorvastatin 80 mg reduced the risk of the primary endpoint of fatal or non-fatal stroke by 15% (HR 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72-1.00; p=0.05 or 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71-0.99; p=0.03 after adjustment for baseline factors) compared to placebo. All cause mortality was 9.1% (216/2365) for atorvastatin versus 8.9% (211/2366) for placebo.
In a post-hoc analysis, atorvastatin 80 mg reduced the incidence of ischemic stroke (218/2365, 9.2% vs. 274/2366, 11.6%, p=0.01) and increased the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke (55/2365, 2.3% vs. 33/2366, 1.4%, p=0.02) compared to placebo.
All cause mortality was 15.6% (7/45) for atorvastatin versus 10.4% (5/48) in the subgroup of patients with prior hemorrhagic stroke. All cause mortality was 10.9% (77/708) for atorvastatin versus 9.1% (64/701) for placebo in the subgroup of patients with prior lacunar infarct.
Absorption: Atorvastatin is rapidly absorbed after oral administration; maximum plasma concentrations occur within 1 to 2 hours. Extent of absorption increases in proportion to atorvastatin dose. After oral administration, atorvastatin film-coated tablets are 95% to 99% bioavailable compared to the oral solution. The absolute bioavailability of atorvastatin is approximately 12% and the systemic availability of HMG- CoA reductase inhibitory activity is approximately 30%. The low systemic availability is attributed to presystemic clearance in gastrointestinal mucosa and/or hepatic first-pass metabolism.
Distribution: Mean volume of distribution of atorvastatin is approximately 381 L. Atorvastatin is 98% bound to plasma proteins.
Biotransformation: Atorvastatin is metabolised by cytochrome P450 3A4 to ortho- and parahydroxylated derivatives and various beta-oxidation products. Apart from other pathways these products are further metabolized via glucuronidation. In vitro, inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase by ortho and parahydroxylated metabolites is equivalent to that of atorvastatin. Approximately 70% of circulating inhibitory activity for HMG-CoA reductase is attributed to active metabolites.
Elimination: Atorvastatin and atorvastatin metabolites are substrates of P-glycoprotein (see section 4.5). Atorvastatin is eliminated primarily in bile following hepatic and/or extrahepatic metabolism. However, the drug does not appear to undergo significant enterohepatic recirculation. Mean plasma elimination half-life of atorvastatin in humans is approximately 14 hours. The half-life of inhibitory activity for HMGCoA reductase is approximately 20 to 30 hours due to the contribution of active metabolites.
Atorvastatin is a substrate of the hepatic transporters, organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) and 1B3 (OATP1B3) transporter. Metabolites of atorvastatin are substrates of OATP1B1. Atorvastatin is also identified as a substrate of the efflux transporters multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), which may limit the intestinal absorption and biliary clearance of atorvastatin.
Elderly: Plasma concentrations of atorvastatin and its active metabolites are higher in healthy elderly subjects than in young adults while the lipid effects were comparable to those seen in younger patient populations.
Paediatric population: In an open-label, 8-week study, Tanner Stage 1 (N=15) and Tanner Stage ≥2 (N=24) paediatric patients (ages 6-17 years) with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and baseline LDL-C ≥4 mmol/L were treated with 5 or 10 mg of chewable or 10 or 20 mg of film-coated atorvastatin tablets once daily, respectively. Body weight was the only significant covariate in atorvastatin population PK model. Apparent oral clearance of atorvastatin in paediatric subjects appeared similar to adults when scaled allometrically by body weight. Consistent decreases in LDL-C and TC were observed over the range of atorvastatin and o-hydroxyatorvastatin exposures.
Gender: Concentrations of atorvastatin and its active metabolites in women differ from those in men (Women: approx. 20% higher for Cmax and approx. 10% lower for AUC). These differences were of no clinical significance, resulting in no clinically significant differences in lipid effects among men and women.
Renal impairment: Renal disease has no influence on the plasma concentrations or lipid effects of atorvastatin and its active metabolites.
Hepatic impairment: Plasma concentrations of atorvastatin and its active metabolites are markedly increased (approx. 16-fold in Cmax and approx. 11-fold in AUC) in patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease (Child-Pugh B).
SLCO1B1 polymorphism: Hepatic uptake of all HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors including atorvastatin, involves the OATP1B1 transporter. In patients with SLCO1B1 polymorphism there is a risk of increased exposure of atorvastatin, which may lead to an increased risk of rhabdomyolysis (see section 4.4). Polymorphism in the gene encoding OATP1B1 (SLCO1B1 c.521CC) is associated with a 2.4-fold higher atorvastatin exposure (AUC) than in individuals without this genotype variant (c.521TT). A genetically impaired hepatic uptake of atorvastatin is also possible in these patients. Possible consequences for the efficacy are unknown.
Atorvastatin was negative for mutagenic and clastogenic potential in a battery of 4 in vitro tests and 1 in vivo assay. Atorvastatin was not found to be carcinogenic in rats, but high doses in mice (resulting in 6-11 fold the AUC0-24h reached in humans at the highest recommended dose) showed hepatocellular adenomas in males and hepatocellular carcinomas in females.
There is evidence from animal experimental studies that HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors may affect the development of embryos or fetuses. In rats, rabbits and dogs atorvastatin had no effect on fertility and was not teratogenic, however, at maternally toxic doses fetal toxicity was observed in rats and rabbits. The development of the rat offspring was delayed and post-natal survival reduced during exposure of the dams to high doses of atorvastatin. In rats, there is evidence of placental transfer. In rats, plasma concentrations of atorvastatin are similar to those in milk. It is not known whether atorvastatin or its metabolites are excreted in human milk.
Tablet core: microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, povidone, maize starch, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, calcium hydrogen phosphate;
Tablet coating: hypromellose, titanium dioxide, propylene glycol, talc purified.
Store at a temperature (15-250C), in a dry place, out of the reach of children. Protect from light.
3 blister packets with 10 tablets in each and leaflet inserted in the cardboard box.
No special requirements.