Lipitor is often prescribed to treat high cholesterol and high triglycerides. The medication is also used to help prevent cardiovascular disease. It belongs to a class of drugs known as statins, which block an enzyme that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. Potential side effects include headaches, muscle pain, diarrhea, and joint pain.
What Is Lipitor?
Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) is a prescription medication used to treat a number of conditions related to heart disease. Approved uses for Lipitor include:
- Lowering cholesterol in people with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Lipitor 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.
Who Makes It?
Lipitor is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc.
How Does It Work?
Lipitor is part of a class of drugs called statins (or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors). It works by blocking a particular enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. This causes the liver to make less cholesterol. The medication also:
- Increases the liver's ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol")
- Increases HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol")
- Decreases triglycerides.