Atorvastatin is a medicine that belongs to the pharmacological family of statins.. These medications are widely used to lower cholesterol levels., in order to prevent cardiovascular diseases, as well as to treat dyslipidemia.
Excess cholesterol is a risk factor for the occurrence of such diseases, which are the leading cause of death in developed countries. However, we must not forget that cholesterol is an essential substance for the proper functioning of the body, since it is the precursor of numerous hormones.
Thus, it is essential to keep cholesterol levels in normal margins. A deficit can also cause serious health consequences. Therefore, it is very important to strictly follow the treatment guidelines established by the doctor in each case.
Learning more about cardiovascular diseases
As we have commented, atorvastatin aims to prevent cardiovascular disease in those patients who present an elevation of cholesterol levels above what is considered normal.
Cardiovascular diseases they are a set of pathologies that represent the first cause of death in developed countries. Among them, we can talk about:
- Cardiovascular hypertension.
- Heart failure.
- Myocardial infarction.
- Stroke or cerebrovascular disease.
- Peripheral vascular disease.
Definitely, The development of these diseases is associated with a series of risk factors that increase the chances of getting them. Among these risk factors, which we should always avoid, we find:
- Smoking: the smoking habit does not carry more than accumulation of toxic and health diseases. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer a type of cardiovascular disease as a non-smoking person.
- Sedentary: the population of developed countries tends increasingly to perform less physical activity. As with tobacco, a lack of exercise doubles the chances of suffering from such diseases.
- Bad eating habits.
How does atorvastatin exert its effect on the body?
Atorvastatin, like the other statins, owes its effectiveness in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases to its ability to selectively and competitively inhibit the enzyme responsible for cholesterol synthesis.
Specific, we are referring to the enzyme hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. It is the enzyme responsible for converting HMG-CoA to mevalonate, which is the precursor of sterile compounds, such as cholesterol.
Thus, by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, atorvastatin also reduces the amounts of mevalonate and, consequently, the amount of cholesterol that is stored in the liver.
Further, It should be noted that this mechanism also affects the regulation of LDL receptors, which is known as ‘bad cholesterol’, and to the uptake of these lipoproteins from the circulation.
The final consequence of all these processes is the reduction of ‘bad cholesterol’ or LDL. The efficacy of treatment is still being studied in different studies and clinical trials.
Read also: Acute myocardial infarction
Adverse reactions of atorvastatin treatment
Despite being a well tolerated drug, is not exempt from producing a series of adverse effects. Adverse effects are understood as all those events that occur in an unwanted and unintended way with the treatment of a drug.
The adverse reactions that have been described with the administration of atorvastatin have been mild and have normalized on their own. In this sense, Among the most frequent, we can mention:
- Gastrointestinal disorders, such as constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, dyspepsia or abdominal pain.
On the other hand, there are also a number of adverse reactions that have been observed and that represent the infrequent adverse reactions of atorvastatin treatment. However, not all are necessarily due to treatment with this medicine. These are, among others, those mentioned below:
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Atorvastatin is a medicine that belongs to the statin family. Mainly, It is used for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
However, you should not forget that the best prevention is to follow healthy lifestyle habits, how to do sports daily, have a balanced diet and avoid toxic habits, such as tobacco.