Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Lipitor

(Atorvastatin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
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Lowers cholesterol.

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Our bottom line

Lipitor (Atorvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.

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Upsides

  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides (fats) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, particularly if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or a history of smoking.
  • One of the strongest cholesterol-lowering statin medications.
  • A good option for people who have high cholesterol and diabetes.
People say this drug is:
1367 reviews

Downsides

  • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
  • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Eating a lot of grapefruit can raise your risk of liver damage.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.

What to expect when you take Lipitor (Atorvastatin) for High cholesterol

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Side effect rates for Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

16066 From clinical trials of Atorvastatin / High cholesterol
  • Common cold
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in extremity
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle pain

Risks and Warnings for Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

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  • People on Lipitor (Atorvastatin) have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain or weakness or fever and you don't know why.

Common concerns from people taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
Food
  • I had a moderate Cholesterol. This medication brought it down to normal levels. I am using it as a short cut to avoid worrying about what I eat. I am not a foodie, don't eat fast foods, so I had very limited choice for diet control.
  • Take with food
Kidneys and liver
  • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
  • People on Lipitor (Atorvastatin) have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain or weakness or fever and you don't know why.
  • Liver damage has been reported in people who take Lipitor (Atorvastatin). If you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin, talk to your prescriber. Your doctor may monitor your liver periodically.
Pain
  • Annoying muscle pain about 3X over ten years, each time in a different muscle zone, which can be discouraging. Hot showers, working pressure pts. = relief.
  • Be careful, I had no muscle pain of side effects for months, then suddenly my shoulder muscles felt like I had torn my rotator cuff. I could not sleep on my side because of SEVERE excruciating pain. I stopped the medication and after 5 or 6 months I could sleep on my left side somewhat. Now after 9 months I am beginning to be able to sleep on my right side somewhat and very well on my left side.
  • I would never take this medication without taking a minimum of 200 mg Co Q-10 along with it. I wonder if this would solve some of your muscle pains. I really don't notice any cramping or leg pains or numbness with the 40 mg. I am taking, however my 370 Total Cholesterol has only been lowered to 239. I refuse to go up to 80 mg or add a 2nd drug, Zetia as my Doctor recommended. I will try more exercise and lose weight.