The drug Lipitor is actually based on calcium. It’s meant to help reduce high LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) to safer, healthier levels. Usually, it’s taken in doses of 10 to 20 milligrams per day.
Why Lipitor was Made
Yes, the body produces cholesterol naturally. That’s true. But, large amounts of LDL cholesterol can be harmful. It can contribute to causing heart attacks and other extremely serious health problems. The human body makes and uses cholesterol to build and maintain cell membranes and other body structures.
Surplus cholesterol is harmful, however. Those who have cholesterol problems have more than their body needs for maintenance – often more than several people would need to keep their cells, membranes, and nerves in good working order.
How does Lipitor work to help? It helps to restore a more natural balance by altering how fast cholesterol is made in the body.
The Science Behind the Question: How Does Lipitor Work
The human body works to maintain a correct “budget” of cholesterol in two ways. It produces cholesterol itself and absorbs it from food by the liver filtering it out of the bloodstream.
The liver clears LDL cholesterol from the blood with “receptors”, which capture the cholesterol and remove it from circulation in the body. A special enzyme controls how active these receptors are. The more enzyme there is, the less active the receptors, and the more cholesterol stays in the blood.
Simply put, Lipitor controls the enzyme that has a direct effect on how much cholesterol your liver filters out.
Lipitor does not directly affect cholesterol. It doesn’t clean it out of your system itself. Rather, it adjusts your body’s setting so that you end up with less cholesterol overall. It makes your liver’s receptors become more active, which produces the desired results: the body itself filters more cholesterol out of the bloodstream. This filtering can cut cholesterol levels drastically: 30% to 60%.
A Lipitor Overdose: What Would Happen?
Lipitor is one of the most powerful anti-cholesterol drugs we’ve ever made. It needs to be taken carefully.
In too high a dosage, it gives the liver receptors unchecked free reign. Too much cholesterol is removed. This can cause the body’s membranes to disintegrate, and kidney failure results.
But taken in reasonable doses, it can be a literal lifesaver. And here’s why.
High, uncontrolled cholesterol builds up fatty deposits inside the arteries, which can partially clog them. This can lead to strokes and heart attacks, definitely dangerous and possibly lethal.
Lipitor averts this danger and gives people whose high cholesterol would otherwise kill them prematurely a longer, better life.
So how does Lipitor work? Essentially, it boosts your own body’s cholesterol filters, taking high cholesterol out of the equation.