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Atorvastatin calcium tablets are marketed by Pfizer under the trade name Lipitor, in tablets (10, 20, 40 or 80 mg) for oral administration. Lipitor (Atorvastatin) is a statin used for lowering blood cholesterol. The drug works by blocking HMG-CoA reductase, the enzyme that allows the liver to produce LDL or "bad" cholesterol. It also stabilizes plaque and prevents stroke through anti-inflammatory and other mechanisms.
Lipitor is prescribed to patient suffering from Dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids like cholesterol and/or fat in the blood) and for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Statins such as Lipitor have been linked to the following medical conditions:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Liver damage
- Memory loss
Women in menopausal age taking Lipitor may be at a much greater risk for Diabetes because of hormonal changes.
In February 2012, the FDA mandated that Pfizer and other statin drug companies add warnings to their drug labels about the risk of liver damage and memory loss along with the risk of increased HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels. HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels help determine whether a patient has diabetes. However, Lipitor's new labels reportedly failed to specifically state that an increase in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels are associated with type 2 diabetes.
Complications due to Diabetes: If not properly managed, type 2 diabetes can cause blindness, kidney damage, damage to the feet, nerve damage, fungal infections, hearing impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. The treatment of type 2 diabetes typically includes a lifelong regimen of diabetes medicine and insulin therapy, which can be very costly.
Although the increased risk of diabetes from Lipitor appears to be small, it is dramatically higher for people with certain risk factors:
- Excess weight or obesity
- Age (being over 45)
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Family history of type-2 diabetes
- Insulin resistance
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High triglycerides (blood fat)
Evidence to be looked for in potential cases:
- Usage of Lipitor and other statins in Pharmacy Records
- Duration of Lipitor usage in Medical Records
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes after Lipitor Intake
Medical Record Review and claim validation of Lipitor case should take approximately 3 hours in most instances; however, this approximation may vary in cases based on the volume of records.