Cholesterol Home > Lipitor

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:
(Click Lipitor Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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