A common question people have when they’re prescribed this drug is, “is it safe to mix alcohol and Lipitor?”
In general, a moderate amount of alcohol and Lipitor may be OK, but there’s a little more to it than this. People who consume a lot of alcohol are warned that Lipitor might not be safe for them. So why is this?
First, if you have liver disease or liver damage which could be from chronic alcohol abuse, your body won’t be able to properly metabolize Lipitor. This can lead to higher concentrations of the medicine in the blood than what should be there, and it can amplify the risk of side effects.
So, if you are someone who currently has an alcoholic liver disease, you’re advised not to take Lipitor, and you should speak with your doctor.
Before taking Lipitor or any statin, you should let your doctor know how much drinking you regularly do. For example, heavy drinking would be considered having five drinks at a time for five days in a row over the past 30 days. If you drink around this amount, it may not be ideal for you to use Lipitor.
There’s also something else to think about with regard to alcohol and Lipitor. If you’re taking this medicine, it’s to treat high cholesterol, and drinking excessively is not a good way to achieve that goal. Alcohol has a lot of sugar and calories and can lead to weight gain and obesity. If you drink large amounts it can increase your levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, so you may be mitigating the effects of the Lipitor.
So what’s the general takeaway?
If you have two or fewer drinks a day as a man, or one drink a day as a woman, you may be considered a moderate drinker, and you may be able to combine alcohol and Lipitor. Anything more than that and you could be putting yourself at risk not only for interactions and side effects but also for weight and cholesterol problems becoming worse.
When you’re dealing with high cholesterol, it’s important to keep your drinking at a moderate level, and if you don’t know whether that would characterize your lifestyle, you can speak with your doctor.
Statins including Lipitor can sometimes be associated with liver damage, so exercise caution.
Also, be very aware of what the CDC defines as moderate drinking. As mentioned above, moderate alcohol and Lipitor use may be okay, but moderate drinking is considered two or fewer drinks a day for men, and only one for women. If you were going to have a glass of wine, in this context a serving would only be five ounces.
If you drink, you should always let your physician know, and if you feel you may have a problem, it’s important to be honest, to avoid potential interactions such as between alcohol and Lipitor or any other medicines you may be prescribed.
To sum up, is it safe to mix alcohol and Lipitor? Maybe in moderation, but you should speak with your doctor and use caution.