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Pharmacy and Medications

Lipitor and Alcohol - Timing and Efficacy

07/23/2010

Question:

I am on a 40 mgs, daily dose of Lipitor. I also like to have one to two glasses of wine in the evening. It is generally advised to take the Lipitor just before bed however that is when one`s liver would be working on the alcohol. Would it be wise to delay taking the Lipitor until the morning when the alcohol had been metabolized or does one or two glasses of wine not really affect the efficacy of the drug with low blood/alcohol levels?

Answer:

Thank you for contacting Net Wellness. The medication LipitorĀ® (atorvastatin) is in the family of statins. Statins are a class of medications that are used to lower your cholesterol. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, but too much in your blood can stick to the walls of your arteries and cause a narrowing or blocking like a clogged drain. Statins lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels and can slow the formation of plaques in your arteries. Their side effects are very similar with little differences. 

Both alcohol and atorvastatin are broken down extensively by the liver, and it not recommended that you drink any alcohol while taking atorvastatin. By doing so you risk damaging your liver. Spacing the two consumptions does not decrease the risk and still can cause harm to your liver.  

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Response by:

Sarah Hudson-DiSalle, PharmD, RPh
Specialty Practice Pharmacist of Outpatient Pharmacy
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University