The short answer:
Atorvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering agent with no beta-blocking activity. However, both atorvastatin and beta-blockers are commonly prescribed together for patients with cardiovascular disease.
- Atorvastatin is not a beta-blocker, instead, it is a blocker for the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme.
- Both atorvastatin and beta-blockers are commonly prescribed together for patients with cardiovascular diseases.
- Atorvastatin is reported to have antiplatelet activity.
- No increase in blood pressure with atorvastatin administration. In contrast, it could help in reducing elevated blood pressure.
- Atorvastatin was found to increase heart rate variability, decrease QTV, and shorten QTc interval.
What is atorvastatin and beta blocker?
Atorvastatin belongs to a class of medications known as statins which are prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels.
It works by inhibiting an enzyme called 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMG-CoA reductase). This enzyme is essential for the synthesis of cholesterol which may build up in the walls of your blood vessels and block blood flow to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body leading to serious complications (Ref).
The accumulation of fats and cholesterol in the walls of your arteries is known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis decreases the transport of oxygen carried by your blood to your heart or brain. Accordingly, lowering blood cholesterol levels with atorvastatin could protect you from heart disease, angina, heart attack, or stroke.
Beta-blockers are also known as beta-adrenergic blockers. They block the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Accordingly, they help to slow the heart rate and reduce heart contractility thus reducing the force at which blood is pushed into your blood vessels.
Examples of beta-blockers:
Is atorvastatin a beta blocker?
No, atorvastatin isn’t a beta-blocker.
Both have different pharmacological activities and atorvastatin can’t be considered as a beta-blocker. However, many people have prescribed both atorvastatin and bets-blocker together.
No drug interactions were reported between beta-blockers and atorvastatin.
A study investigated the benefits of combined therapy of statin with beta-blocker on perioperative mortality and myocardial infarction in patients undergoing abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery. Results showed that the combination therapy of statin and beta-blocker is associated with a reduced incidence of perioperative mortality and nonfatal myocardial infarction particularly in patients at the highest risk.
A recent study published in 2023 reported that patients with cardiovascular disease who received beta-blockers and statins had lower all-cause mortality over 2, 3, and 4 years. The authors considered beta-blockers and statins as prevention strategies in patients undergoing concurrent platinum-based chemoradiotherapy for unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer
Is atorvastatin a blood thinner?
Interestingly, the answer is yes, atorvastatin is reported to have antiplatelet activity.
In contrast to the general assumption that atorvastatin is a lipid-lowering agent and not a blood thinner, many studies confirmed that atorvastatin has antiplatelet effects by interfering with redox signaling.
Recent studies demonstrated that atorvastatin possesses antiplatelet activity via inhibition of platelet formation of NADPH oxidase-derived reactive oxygen species. As a result, it leads to the down-regulation of isoprostanes, which are pro-aggregating molecules, and up-regulation of nitric oxide, which is a platelet inhibitor. The antiplatelet effect of atorvastatin occurs immediately following administration and independently from the lipid-lowering effect (Ref).
Additionally, statins have been reported to exhibit antithrombotic effects which are not related to changes in lipid profile. Treatment with statins can lead to a significant downregulation of the blood coagulation cascade due to the decrease in tissue factor expression, which leads to reduced thrombin generation (Ref).
An in vitro study showed that platelet incubation with statin compared with phosphate buffer saline (PBS) resulted in reduced platelet aggregations. Also, incubation with statin leads to a reduction in collagen-induced platelet aggregation.
1. Can you take bisoprolol and atorvastatin together?
Yes, you can take atorvastatin with bisoprolol (a beta blocker agent) together.
Both atorvastatin and bisoprolol are often prescribed together for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and to reduce mortality.
2. Does atorvastatin raise blood pressure?
No, atorvastatin doesn’t cause elevated blood pressure. In contrast, atorvastatin is reported to reduce blood pressure (Ref).
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 50 patients with mild hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were randomized to either atorvastatin (10 mg) or placebo for 26 weeks. Results showed that atorvastatin significantly reduced 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with the effect of the placebo (Ref).
3. Does atorvastatin increase heart rate?
Atorvastatin was found to increase heart rate variability, decrease QTV (beat-to-beat fluctuations in QT interval of electrocardiograms), and shorten QTc interval. Accordingly, atorvastatin may reduce the risk of arrhythmias in patients with advanced heart failure (Ref).
4. Does atorvastatin increase your risk of bleeding?
Yes, atorvastatin may increase your risk of bleeding.
Atorvastatin is reported to have antiplatelet activity. Accordingly, it may increase your risk of bleeding.
A large retrospective cohort study confirmed that statin users had a higher risk for gastrointestinal hemorrhage compared with other chronic medication users.
Also, atorvastatin was found to induce hemorrhagic cystitis in a 77-year-old woman. She experienced hematuria (blood in urine) one week after taking atorvastatin 5 mg per day. Her hematuria was resolved within 1 week of stopping atorvastatin (Ref)