by Dale Robinson


29 March 2021


An essential guide to travelling while taking Atorvastatin
By Phil Day, Superintendent Pharmacist – Pharmacy2U

What is atorvastatin?


Atorvastatin is a medication which is prescribed to help manage high cholesterol, a common medical condition which, if left untreated, can lead to other conditions which are more serious and potentially life threatening. Pharmacy2U supports thousands of patients each month who are prescribed this medication by their NHS GP. It’s important you continue to take your regular medication while you’re on holiday, so below are some of the key facts about this medication along with some tips on how to take it safely while travelling.

How does atorvastatin work?


Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the blood, produced by the liver. It’s used to make hormones, help build new tissue, and has a role in the production of bile. The amount of cholesterol found in the blood can also be affected by the food we eat and various lifestyle factors.

There are two types of cholesterol

  • Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol
  • High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is also known as ‘good’ cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol keeps the heart and circulation healthy, and carries LDL cholesterol back to the liver to be broken down.

LDL cholesterol can cause hardening of the arteries which can eventually lead to more serious health conditions if left untreated. Atorvastatin helps to decrease LDL cholesterol levels, and increase HDL cholesterol.

Tips for taking atorvastatin whilst on holiday


You should take atorvastatin at roughly the same time each day.

If you are travelling to a different time zone, you may want to adjust the time you take your medicine accordingly.

You can then resume to your usual time when you return from your holiday. If you do forget to take a dose, don’t take an extra one to make up for it. Just take your next dose as usual.

Atorvastatin and alcohol


Trips away are a time where we can relax and enjoy ourselves, which can often mean an increase in the alcohol we consume.

You can drink alcohol in moderation whilst taking atorvastatin.

However, drinking excessively (more than 14 units of alcohol per week) increases the chance you’ll experience side effects related to the liver or muscles.

What should I eat on holiday with high cholesterol?


Holidays are often a time for indulging in food and enjoying the local cuisine but it is important not to get carried away with these if you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Try to avoid foods which are high in fat and salt, such as fried foods and ice cream, and instead try substituting with fresh juice, fresh fruit and vegetables. You can still enjoy the local specialities, just in moderation.

How much atorvastatin should I take with me on holiday?


It is a good idea to take extra medication with you just in case you lose any or end up being delayed.

Pack your medication in your hand luggage so that you have easy access to it and minimise the risk of your medication getting lost with your suitcase.

You should also take your prescription details with you, as this will help in the event that you need to get more medication while you are away.

Arranging Travel Insurance when taking atorvastatin for High Cholesterol


Choose Travel Insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions and make sure you declare high cholesterol if you have been diagnosed with it. That means it will cover any high cholesterol related medical costs if you need treatment while on holiday. 

How to get your atorvastatin medication for high cholesterol from Pharmacy2U


If you have an NHS repeat prescription for atorvastatin, then Pharmacy2U can help.

Our UK-based team of pharmacists can help you cut out unnecessary trips to the GP or pharmacist by delivering the medication you need to your door. Our simple service lets you order your prescription from anywhere and registration is quick and simple.

For more information and support about high cholesterol or any of the topics above, talk to your pharmacist or GP.

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