Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a statin drug prescribed to lower cholesterol. It is meant to lower the risk of developing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Lipitor is a heavily prescribed and very controversial drug which can have serious and deadly side effects. By February, 2012, Lipitor had become the world’s all-time biggest selling prescription medicine.

Lipitor Uses

Lipitor is in a class of drugs HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, commonly known as statins. It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the liver. Lipitor is used in conjunction with a low-fat diet to lower LDL cholesterol.

When combined with a low-fat diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle, Lipitor may reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Lipitor is recommended for people with existing heart disease and for those who have common risk factors for heart disease.

Lipitor Dangers

Lipitor can have very serious and sometimes fatal side effects including:

  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Myopathy
  • Muscledamage
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Diabetes
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion

Myopathy and Rhabdomyolysis

Myopathy is muscle disease. In myopathy the problem is with the muscle fibers, not the nerves. Lipitor myopathy can range in severity from mild pain to rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of the muscle tissue which poisons the kidneys and can be fatal.

Muscle weakness is common in Lipitor myopathy. Symptoms of myopathy include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Cramps
  • Involuntary muscle contractions (tetany)

Rhabdomyolysis is a medical emergency. It involves the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle. Some of the byproducts of the muscle cells are toxic to the kidneys and can cause kidney failure. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis can include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Muscle swelling
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Dark urine


In February, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced changes to warning labels on statins including Lipitor. The new warnings include an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, increased blood sugar, and cognitive impairment including memory loss and confusion.

If you have experienced Lipitor injury or if you have lost a loved one to the popular, but deadly, drug, you may be entitled to compensation. Please find a Lipitor injury lawyer in your area right away and schedule a consultation to learn more.