Can you suddenly stop taking Lipitor?


Quick Answer

Suddenly discontinuing the intake of Lipitor is not advisable, according to the Mayo Clinic, as the drug controls the level of dangerous low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the body. Without medication, cholesterol levels can increase dramatically to the point they were at before the drug was originally prescribed.

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Full Answer

Lipitor belongs to a class of cholesterol drugs known as statins. These drugs are effective in controlling the potentially serious effects of high LDL cholesterol in the patients for whom they are prescribed. Some patients might be tempted to discontinue use of Lipitor once LDL cholesterol levels fall to tolerable levels, but the Mayo Clinic cautions against this. Lipitor, and other statins, are not able to cure high cholesterol, but they manage the levels in conjunction with diet and exercise. A patient who suddenly discontinues the use of Lipitor is likely to see a rapid return to dangerously high levels of LDL cholesterol. Patients who are prescribed statins should expect to take them for life.

An exception to this rule can sometimes be found for patients who have undergone a dramatic change in eating habits and lifestyle practices. When the patient has switched to a lifestyle consistent with low cholesterol, the Mayo Clinic advises consultation with a doctor to consider a monitored withdrawal of Lipitor.

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