Atorvastatin calcium is a medication used to treat high cholesterol. As a statin, this drug works by blocking an enzyme that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. It is also used to treat high triglycerides and to help prevent heart disease. Potential side effects include headache, muscle pain, and diarrhea.
Atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor®) is a prescription medication used to treat various conditions related to heart disease. Approved uses for the drug include:
- Lowering cholesterol in people with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Atorvastatin can reduce total cholesterol, LDL ("bad cholesterol"), ApoB cholesterol (another type of "bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides, as well as raise HDL ("good cholesterol").
- Lowering triglycerides in people with high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).
- As an add-on treatment in people with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia to help lower total and LDL cholesterol.
- Reducing the risk of heart disease in people at risk for it.
- Reducing the risk of complications in people who already have heart disease.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with atorvastatin; however, not everyone who takes it will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If people do develop side effects, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
Also, keep in mind that if you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if accompanied by a fever or if you feel ill), you should contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Lipitor and Muscle Pain).
(Click Side Effects of Atorvastatin to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)