What does lipitor do to your liver?
Are you a righteous man that follows the doctor’s orders? If yes, then you must have heard about lipitor; the wonder drug for those who want to maintain good health. But have you ever thought what happens when it reaches your liver? Relax, dear readers, and let us give you an articulate response.
First things first, let’s understand what is lipitor? It is a prescription drug used to control blood cholesterol levels. It was introduced in 1996 by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and has been on the forefront ever since.
It belongs to the statin family; medications that act on an enzyme responsible for producing cholesterol in our body. By limiting its production, these drugs help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels in our bodies.
But enough with science mumbo-jumbo – how does this relate to your liver?
The Role of Liver
Like Batman’s sidekick Robin, your liver dutifully works around the clock without receiving much attention from anyone. Your body depends greatly on this unsung hero who performs multiple essential functions such as filtering toxins from food/drinks we consume or chemicals we inhale, storing energy reserves as glycogen etc.
One other important function of a liver is metabolism-chemical breakdown of drugs taken by individuals where enzymes present transform them into water-soluble form eliminating them from our system effectively via urine or bile excretionsa process called ‘hepatobiliary clearance.’
Now that we understand both concepts clearly let’s bind them together.
How Does Lipitor Affect Liver?
Being metabolized by an enzyme called CYP3A4 that resides predominantly inside Hepatocyte cells, atorvastatin(lipitor) reduces low-density lipoprotein(LDL) leading one common side effect being myopathy(normally muscle weakness)(1), when degraded they interact with cytochrome P450 in the hepatocytes which can reduce hepatic-free cholesterol, ultimately leading to the decrease of glucose production-causing mild hypoglycemia. Nonetheless, Just as a particular amount of cholesterol is required for our bodies lipoproteins assist HDL and VLDL help provide adequate concentration for insulating myelin coatings in neurons without enough could think decreased awareness or slower responses
When drugs get metabolized by CYP3A4 enzyme, it turns into water-soluble from their primary lipid state enabling them to get excreted out via liver’s path-urine and gall bladder. Lipitor uses this metabolic pathway hence ensuring avoiding potential buildup restoring proper function.
But like all good things (read: chocolate cake), there can be too much of a good thing where overconsumption might not bode well with your body.
Although Lipitor has been deemed safe for human consumption considering its low incidence rate concerning severe side-effects <1%. Repeated long-term use may cause different instances affecting general wellbeing:(2)
Mild Side Effects:
Minor illnesses such as feeling bloated/flatulence, disturbed sleep cycles, rashes(various types), arthralgia/joint pain : stomach-ache-abdominal discomfort weakness etc•
Major Side Effects:
Commonly observed effects besides minor issues include increased occurrence of gouty attacks/hepatotoxicity(liver cell death) where most susceptible individuals using alcohol/tabaco products + old age & previous cases more likely:further discussing regarding abnormal LFT tests wherein Ast,LDT > than twice normal values indicating elevated enzymes’ concentration-signaling damage within your liver.(i.e., high Bilirubin levels accompanied with AMT/GGT measurable concentrations)
All these symptoms signify something that experts colloquially refer to as rhabdomyolysis(3).
The concern arises when patients take statins for a long time, leading to adverse effects on liver enzymes or epidermal damage-leadingto an uncommon side effect of acute hepatitis that can’t be predicted but has potential complications within individual.
One extra rare case-study of auto-immune hepatitis in patients using statins showed intolerably elevated enzyme levels upon prolonged usage(4).
In conclusion, Lipitor is an effective drug used to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels with few possible side-effects if administered appropriately and under controlled circumstances.But remember overdose (or misuse) can cause abnormal hepatic enzyme readings besides damaging dark bile pigment production(insufficient metabolic impairments), so it’s always wise to consult with physicians before starting any new medication as the first-line preventive measure avoiding(rare) hepatotoxicity issues, bravo.