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Can one take tablet Atorvastatin while breastfeeding?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At December 25, 2021
Reviewed AtJanuary 9, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am a 32-year-old lactating mother. I am into my fourth month of postpartum. Recently I developed pain on the right side under ribs. On ultrasound, it was revealed that I am having gallstones of size 2 to 3 mm. So I consulted a general physician, and she advised me to take a lipid profile test which shows high levels of cholesterol, LDL, etc. So she prescribed me Atocor 10 daily for one month. My worry is, as I am breastfeeding my baby, can I have this tablet? Does it pose any harm to my baby?

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thanks for writing in, and I understand your concern.

Atorvastatin is generally not recommended while breastfeeding. Some degree of dyslipidemia can be managed by lifestyle modification as well.

Kindly share your investigation results.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I have been taking Atocor 10 mg for the past two days. Should I stop it now? What medications should I take then?

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I had gone through the reports (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). After examining your reports, dyslipidemia is there, but it is not in a range that you should straightaway start statins, especially when you are lactating. Statins can have multiple side effects in adults, and their safety is not yet established during lactation. Did you inform your doctor that you are lactating?

I suggest trying lifestyle modifications like regular walking for 40 to 45 minutes and fat restriction in diet. Avoid egg yolk and red meat. However, you can have egg whites, fish, and chicken.

After two months of lifestyle modifications, the condition can be reassessed. By then, the baby will be around six months, and weaning from breastmilk will be started. If required, statins can be started at that time, and the baby can be shifted to infant formula milk and slowly weaned off from breastmilk.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Yes, I have informed doctor about lactation. So should I stop taking Atocor? I have started dietary restrictions. What should I do for the gallstone? Sometimes it causes intense pain at night time along with vomiting.

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Generally, pregnancy gallstones disappear within six months after delivery, but if they do not, then surgical removal may be necessary. These gallstones appear due to elevated estrogen during pregnancy which causes increased fat in bile. Increased fat loss after delivery is also a cause. So weight loss should be made slowly. Was the delivery CS (cesarean section) or a normal delivery?

You should take small meals with lower fat content and especially at night you should take a low-fat meal. The night pain is because dinner is usually the heaviest meal that people eat.

You should try sleeping on your left side. Sleeping or resting on your left side will allow your gallbladder to freely contract and expand until the blockage of your bile duct has been cleared. This can help in resolving pain. Sleeping on the right side can put additional pressure on your gallbladder.

What I suggest is that if symptoms persist, then you can start tablet Atocor (Atorvastatin) 10 mg once the baby is six months old and simultaneously start Similac infant formula or Nan Pro baby milk while reducing breastfeeding.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Yes, it was a normal delivery. I have not lost any weight after delivery. My weight in the ninth month of pregnancy was 176 lbs, and after delivering the baby, it was 165 lbs. I have gained more than two-kilogram weight in the past two months. My present weight is 169 lbs. So will following dietary restrictions only dissolve gallstone? Can you suggest any medication for pain?

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

If conservative measures that I have mentioned above provide relief, then it is possible that stones may dissolve in the coming months. But if pain persists, then medications or surgery will become evident.

The problem with medications is that most of them are not indicated during lactation.

If medications become necessary, then early weaning from breastfeeding will be required.

A low-fat diet, especially for dinner, should relieve pain and vomiting.

As a first measure, I suggest you persist with the conservative measures. I know it is tough, but you should try. If it does not work, then we can proceed with further management. I also suggest taking tablet Diclofenac 50 mg for acute pain.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You are welcome.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am concerned about my baby as I have been taking tablet Atocor for two days. Will it harm my baby?

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Do not worry. It is highly unlikely that tablet Atocor can cause any harm in just two days.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You are welcome.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Utkarsh Sharma
Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Pathology

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