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Common Brand Names: Lipitor, Atorvaliq

Side Effects & Precautions

Medically reviewed by Jessica Swirble, PharmD
Last updated on March 16, 2024

Drug Information | Side Effects | Use & Dosage | Request a Prescription

What are the side effects of atorvastatin?

The use of atorvastatin has been shown to cause side effects in some patients.
Common mild side effects of atorvastatin use include:

  • Runny nose or stuffy nose
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion

More severe side effects include:

  • Liver problems (symptoms may include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, abdominal pain, or unusual fatigue)
  • Muscle damage (symptoms may include unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness)
  • Allergic reactions (rash, itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Increase in blood sugar

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any severe symptoms while taking atorvastatin. If you experience mild side effects that become severe or do not go away after a few days, speak to a healthcare provider right away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before using atorvastatin?

Before starting treatment with atorvastatin, tell your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions, allergies, or other medications you are taking. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements, as they may interact with this drug.

Tell your provider if you are taking these medications or supplements:

  • Other cholesterol-lowering medications (such as ezetimibe or fibrates)
  • Antibiotics (such as clarithromycin or erythromycin)
  • Antifungal medications (such as itraconazole or ketoconazole)
  • HIV medications
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Heart medications
  • Warfarin or other blood thinners

You should also mention medical conditions such as:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Muscle disorder
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • History of stroke or heart attack

    Tell your healthcare provider if you have 2 or more alcoholic beverages per day.

Inform your provider if you are 65 years or older before taking atorvastatin.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider before using atorvastatin to assess potential risks and benefits.

Are there any other special instructions I should follow?

You can follow your regular diet while taking atorvastatin. Talk to your healthcare provider about the use of this drug with food, beverages, alcohol, and tobacco. Your provider will direct you to follow a healthy diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol while taking atorvastatin.

Your provider may recommend you avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking atorvastatin.

Your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions regarding the use of atorvastatin with food, beverages, and other medications. It's essential to follow their guidance to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and minimize the risk of side effects.

What should I do in case of an overdose?

If you suspect an overdose of atorvastatin or experience severe symptoms, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center. Symptoms of an overdose may include muscle pain, weakness, or dark urine.

If an individual has collapsed, is having trouble breathing, or is unresponsive, call 9-1-1 immediately.