Hello from JustAnswer. This is Dr, Love.
Lipitor is a medicine that is used to lower cholesterol. It is one of many medicines in a class of medicines referred to as statins, and the generic name for Lipitor is atorvastatin. Statins have been shown to not only lower cholesterol levels, including bad cholesterol levels, but they also have been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks. There are several other medicines on the market that can lower cholesterol, but few medicines have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks. Since statins have the best evidence for reducing the risks of heart attacks, the statins are the preferred drug to use to lower cholesterol.
However, as with any drug, there is a risk of side effects. With long term use, there are several side effects that may occur. It is possible that the Lipitor can irritate the liver, so your doctor will regularly check liver function tests. It is possible to develop muscle problems, called myopathy. Myopathy can range from minor muscle aches to muscle weakness to more severe breakdown of muscle. When more severe breakdown of musccle occurs, it also can adversely affect kidney function. There also is some evidence that there is an increased risk of higher blood sugar levels.
Most people tolerate Liptor and other statins long term without any of these serious problems, and the number of heart attacks prevented is greater than the number of people that develop one of these potential adverse effects. However, if any of these potential problems arise, then your doctor may need to stop the Lipiitor.
There are no adverse interactions with the Tysabri. The MS does not appear to increase the risk for statin-induced myopathy, as the MS affects the central nervous system and the myopathy affects the muscles directly, but if you have some muscle weakness from the MS, you may notice some mild weakness from myopathy that others would not notice. This would not be a reason to avoid the statins, but like anyone taking a statin, you should contact your doctor is you notice worsening weakness.
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