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Lipitor Now Available as Generic Atorvastatin

The prayers of many who have high cholesterol have been answered: Lipitor has finally gone generic. Atorvastatin may be here but Lipitor’s maker Pfizer is not going quietly into the night- they would like to keep their 100 million dollar weekly sales in tact. So here’s what you should know if you want to jump on the number one’s statin band wagon.

Lipitor is a cholesterol lowering drug called a statin that mainly works on the LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol. As far as potency, Lipitor is more potent than simvastatin (Zocor) but not as potent as Crestor for reducing LDL after the first dose is taken. Here’s some downsides to statin, including an increase in liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes could affect liver function and cause myopathy or muscle pain. If this occurs stop taking the statin and call your doctor. The most dangerous and rare side effect is called rhabodomyolysis. This causes the breakdown of muscle and can eventually lead to kidney failure, but overall, statins are a great drug to lower LDL and help prevent heart disease and heart attacks.


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Juvisync is the First Combination Drug for Cholesterol and Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and with it comes the announcement of a new combination drug to help battle the growing disease. It’s called Juvisync, and it’s the first cholesterol and diabetes combination drug of its kind. Being that high cholesterol and diabetes tend to go hand in hand for those with Type 2 diabetes, this drug promises to eliminate two birds with one stone.

Type 2 diabetics often have many other conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is important that these areas are as closely managed as their blood sugar to prevent complications like stroke and heart attack.

Healthy goals for diabetic patients for blood pressure should be less than 130/80 and LDL cholesterol levels, a.k.a.  “bad cholesterol,” is less than 100 mg/dL and sometimes even less than 70 mg/dL. Juvisync’s aim is to help patients reach their goal and cut down on their daily pill count.


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Doctors Prescribe Patients Medications for Their Weight Loss Side Effects

People are now looking behind the pharmacy counter for help losing weight. A recent article published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) discussed doctors prescribing medications that are not typically used for weight loss and not currently FDA approved for it. Let’s take a look at some of the controversial weight loss prescriptions and how effective, and dangerous, they can really be.

Medications for Diabetes: Byetta and Metformin

Most diabetes medications cause weight loss because blood sugar levels are more properly managed. Byetta works by slowing the rate at which food empties from the stomach. Many of my diabetic patients tell me they feel more full and do not eat as frequently when on the medication. The biggest side effect with Byetta is nausea which is why the dose starts lower and increases from once to twice daily. This is a self administered injection into the fat of the abdomen, upper arm or thigh. If you are willing to give yourself a possibly painful injection to lose weight, you probably could stick to a healthy and natural nutrition and exercise plan just as easily.


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