atorvastatin, Lipitor (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Inflammation of the muscles caused by statins can lead to serious breakdown of muscle cells called rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis causes the release of muscle protein (myoglobin) into the blood, and myoglobin can cause kidney failure and even death. When used alone, statins cause rhabdomyolysis in less than one percent of patients. To prevent the development of serious rhabdomyolysis, patients taking atorvastatin should contact their health-care professional immediately if they develop unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or muscle tenderness.

Statins have been associated with increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels as seen in diabetes.

There are also post-marketing reports of:

Symptoms may start one day to years after starting treatment and resolve within a median of three weeks after stopping the statin.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets of 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).

DOSING: Atorvastatin is prescribed once daily. The usual starting dose for adults is 10-20 mg per day, and the maximum dose is 80 mg per day. Adults who need more than a 45% reduction in LDL cholesterol may be started at 40 mg daily.

Pediatric patients should receive 10 mg once daily up to a maximum dose of 20 mg daily. Atorvastatin may be taken with or without food and at any time of day.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Decreased elimination of atorvastatin could increase levels of atorvastatin in the body and increase the risk of muscle toxicity from atorvastatin. Therefore, atorvastatin should not be combined with drugs that decrease its elimination. Examples of such drugs include:S

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2014


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