Drugs Home > Side Effects of Atorvastatin

Some of the most common atorvastatin side effects are headache, diarrhea, and muscle pain. Other common problems associated with the medication include joint pain and unexplained rash. Most side effects -- if they occur -- are minor and easily treated, but some are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider.

Side Effects of Atorvastatin: An Introduction

As with any medicine, side effects can occur with atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor®). However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well.
If people do develop side effects, in most cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. In research studies, less than 2 percent of people taking atorvastatin stopped treatment because of these problems.
If you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if accompanied by a fever or if you feel ill, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with atorvastatin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Atorvastatin Side Effects to Report

There are a number of side effects with atorvastatin that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of liver damage, such as:
    • Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
    • Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    • Dark urine
    • Elevated liver enzymes (see Lipitor Liver Side Effects)
  • Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever or feel ill, since these may be signs of serious breakdown of muscle, known as rhabdomyolysis (see Lipitor and Muscle Pain)
  • Significant, unexplained changes in the amount of urine you produce. which may be a sign of kidney problems
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • A rash
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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