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Atorvastatin calcium (Molecule of the Month for April 2002)


Atorvastatin calcium is a synthetic lipid-lowering agent. Atorvastatin is an inhibitor of 3 hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, an early and rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis.

Atorvastatin calcium is a white to off-white crystalline powder that is insoluble in aqueous solutions of pH 4 and below. Atorvastatin calcium is very slightly soluble in distilled water, pH 7.4 phosphate buffer, and acetonitrile, slightly soluble in ethanol, and freely soluble in methanol.

Lipitor tablets for oral administration contain 10, 20, or 40 mg atorvastatin and the following inactive ingredients: calcium carbonate, USP; candelilla wax, FCC; croscarmellose sodium, NF; hydroxypropyl cellulose, NF; lactose monohydrate, NF; magnesium stearate, NF; microcrystalline cellulose; NF, Opadry White YS-1-7040 (hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide); polysorbate 80, NF; simethicone emulsion.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
[R-(R*,R*)]-2-(4-fluorophenyl)-b,d-dihydroxy-5-(1-methylethyl)-3-phenyl-4 [(phenylamino)carbonyl]-lH-pyrrole-1-heptanoic acid, calcium salt (2:1) trihydrate

Picture of Atorvastatin calcium

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Atorvastatin calcium structure
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Picture of Atorvastatin calcium

(C33 H34 F N2 O5)2 Ca 3H2O

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for April 2002 )