Do I Need To Take Lipitor (Atorvastatin) At Night?

We answer our latest question regarding whether or not you need to take Lipitor (Atorvastatin) at night.

Do I Need To Take Lipitor (Atorvastatin) At Night?
Sep 25, 2017

Dennison asked

I take all of my medications in the morning. Do I have to take my Lipitor at night as written by the doctor?


Lipitor At NightStatin medications such as atorvastatin have historically been said to work best with evening dosing. This is because most of the cholesterol our body produces occurs at night. The vast majority of the cholesterol in our body is not via dietary intake but rather is endogenous, meaning that we actually produce most of our own cholesterol. Statins work by decreasing the amount of cholesterol we make in our bodies by inhibiting an enzyme in our liver known as hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase which is necessary in the production of cholesterol.

The statin class consists of over 8 different products, all working the same way. They do differ in terms of how potent they are, how they are metabolized and how long they last in the body. In general,  there are a few statin medications that are usually fine to take at any time of the day due to how long they last in the body. They are Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (Rosuvastatin) Pravachol (Pravastatin) and Livalo (Pitavastatin). They seem to be effective no matter what time of day you take them. Mevacor (lovastatin), Zocor (simvastatin) and Lescol (fluvastatin) have been shown to be more effective with evening dosing since they don't last quite as long in the body.

So to answer your question specifically, it's generally agreed on that it is OK to take Lipitor anytime of day. The most important thing is to be sure to take it daily as prescribed. Since your doctor did specify nightly dosing, I would just double check with them to take make sure they don't have a specific reason for indicating evening dosing.

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