Generic Name: Atorvastatin (a TORE va sta tin)
Brand Name: Lipitor
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
Uses of Lipitor:
- It is used to prevent heart attacks.
- It is used to prevent strokes.
- It is used to prevent chest pain.
- It is used to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol (HDL).
- It is used to lower triglycerides.
- It is used to slow the progress of heart disease.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Lipitor?
- If you have an allergy to atorvastatin or any other part of Lipitor (atorvastatin).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take Lipitor (atorvastatin) if you are pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Lipitor (atorvastatin).
- If you have any of these health problems: Active liver disease or a rise in liver enzymes.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Cyclosporine, gemfibrozil, telaprevir, or tipranavir plus ritonavir.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Lipitor (atorvastatin).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Lipitor (atorvastatin) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Lipitor?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Lipitor (atorvastatin). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
- Avoid or limit drinking alcohol to less than 3 drinks a day. Drinking too much alcohol may raise your chance of liver disease.
- This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) with your other drugs.
- If you are 65 or older, use Lipitor (atorvastatin) with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin), call your doctor right away.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin).
How is this medicine (Lipitor) best taken?
Use Lipitor (atorvastatin) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take Lipitor (atorvastatin) at the same time of day.
- Take with or without food.
- Do not split or break tablet.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your normal time.
- If it has been 12 hours or more since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Feeling confused.
- Memory problems or loss.
- Very bad joint pain.
- This medicine may cause muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Sometimes, a very bad muscle problem may happen that may lead to kidney problems. Rarely, deaths have happened in people who get these problems when taking drugs like this one. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness that is not normal (with or without fever or feeling out of sorts). Call your doctor right away if you have muscle signs that last after your doctor has told you to stop taking Lipitor (atorvastatin).
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with Lipitor (atorvastatin). Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Lipitor?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Joint pain.
- Upset stomach.
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Lipitor?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Lipitor (atorvastatin), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Lipitor Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 61 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: statins