Atorvastatin is in a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or “statins.” Atorvastatin reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

Atorvastatin is used to treat high cholesterol, and to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors.

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  • Lipitor
  • Severity: Major
    You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking atorvastatin:

    Less common or rare:
    Cough
    difficulty with swallowing
    dizziness
    fast heartbeat
    fever
    hives
    itching
    muscle cramps, pain, stiffness, swelling, or weakness
    puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
    skin rash
    tightness in the chest
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    wheezing
    Incidence not known:
    Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
    chills
    dark-colored urine
    diarrhea
    joint pain
    large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
    red skin lesions, often with a purple center sore
    red, irritated eyes
    sore throat
    sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
    Severity: Minor
    Some of the side effects that can occur with atorvastatin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    More common:
    Headache
    hoarseness
    lower back or side pain
    pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
    painful or difficult urination
    stuffy or runny nose
    Less common:
    Abdominal or stomach pain
    back pain
    belching or excessive gas
    constipation
    general feeling of discomfort or illness
    heartburn, indigestion, or stomach discomfort
    lack or loss of strength
    loss of appetite
    nausea
    shivering
    sweating
    trouble sleeping
    vomiting
    Incidence not known:
    Appetite increased
    black, tarry stools
    bloody nose
    bloody or cloudy urine
    blurred vision
    continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
    difficult, burning, or painful urination
    difficulty seeing at night
    excessive muscle tone or tension
    fruit-like breath odor
    groin or scrotum pain
    inability to have or keep an erection
    increased body movements
    increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
    increased sensitivity to touch or pain
    increased thirst
    increased urination
    loss of bladder control
    loss of sexual ability, drive, or desire
    menstrual bleeding occurring earlier or lasting longer than usual
    mental depression
    nervousness
    nightmares
    pale skin
    paranoia
    pinpoint red spots on the skin
    slurred speech
    swollen or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
    unable to move or feel face
    unusual bleeding or bruising
    weight loss
  • (oral tablet)