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Lowers cholesterol.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ 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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  • 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.
  • 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.

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Side effects for Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

From clinical trials of Atorvastatin / High cholesterol ( 16066)

  • Common coldCommon cold8% for Atorvastatin vs.8% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea7% for Atorvastatin vs.6% for placebo
  • Joint painJoint pain7% for Atorvastatin vs.7% for placebo
  • Pain in extremityPain in extremity6% for Atorvastatin vs.6% for placebo
  • Urinary tract infectionUrinary tract infection6% for Atorvastatin vs.6% for placebo
  • IndigestionIndigestion5% for Atorvastatin vs.4% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea4% for Atorvastatin vs.4% for placebo
  • Musculoskeletal painMusculoskeletal pain4% for Atorvastatin vs.4% for placebo
  • Muscle spasmsMuscle spasms4% for Atorvastatin vs.3% for placebo
  • Muscle painMuscle pain4% for Atorvastatin vs.3% for placebo

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Cholestasis
  • Eructation
  • Feeling unwell
  • Fever
  • High blood sugar
  • Hives
  • Joint swelling
  • Liver inflammation
  • Muscle disease
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Neck pain
  • Nightmare
  • Nosebleed
  • Passing gas
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Vision blurred

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

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever or weakness.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin.

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.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

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The FDA category for this medication is X. It is advised that you: Unsafe
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • 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.
    Taken for: High cholesterol
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • Take with food
    Age: 69
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: High cholesterol
    Duration taken: Two years or more
Kidneys & liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • 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.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • 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.
Sleep
  • 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.
    Age: 67
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: High cholesterol
  • hardest part was establishing the habit to take it before going to sleep. Still rely on Mango app as reminder.
    Taken for: High cholesterol
    Duration taken: A year or so
Weight gain or loss
  • 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.
    Age: 64
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: High cholesterol