Atorvastatin is used to treat high cholesterol. It is also used to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack or other cardiovascular complications in people living with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease or other heart problems.


What is Atorvastatin?

Atorvastatin is a member of the drug class known as statins. It works by reducing the levels of “bad” cholesterol (or LDL) and triglycerides, all the while increasing the levels of “good" cholesterol” (or HDL).


How should Atorvastatin be taken?

Atorvastatin is typically administered orally. If the doctor considers it necessary, the dosage can be adjusted during the treatment.


Side effects associated with Atorvastatin

In rare cases, atorvastatin can lead to kidney failure.  It is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:


  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Weakness (especially if associated with fever, fatigue and dark urine)


Among the other possible side effects of atorvastatin include the following:


  • Mild muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild nausea


It is also important to stop treatment and contact a doctor immediately if you experience:


  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Fever, fatigue and dark urine
  • Swelling
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased urination
  • Increased thirst or urination
  • Hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry skin
  • Vision problems
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Atorvastatin

During treatment with atorvastatin, it is necessary to avoid foods high in cholesterol and fat. It is also necessary to monitor alcohol intake and practice proper physical exercise.


Before starting treatment with atorvastatin, it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or any other drugs or food
  • You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular:  diltiazem, gemfibrozil, fenofibric acid, fenofibrate, telaprevir, antibiotics, anti-fungal medications, anti-HIV drugs, medicines containing niacin and medications that weaken the immune system
  • You are suffering (or have suffered) from thyroid disease, pain or muscle weakness, liver or kidney disease
  • You drink more than two alcoholic beverages on a daily basis
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding


Treatment may have to be suspended for a short period in the event of:


  • Convulsions
  • Electrolyte imbalances (for example: high or low potassium levels in the blood)
  • Very low blood pressure
  • A severe infection or illness  
  • A surgical or medical emergency intervention