Atorvastatin, sold under the brand name Lipitor among others, is a statin medication used to prevent cardiovascular disease in those at high risk and treat abnormal lipid levels. For the prevention of cardiovascular disease, statins are a first-line treatment. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include joint pain, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, and muscle pains. Serious side effects may include rhabdomyolysis, liver problems, and diabetes. Use during pregnancy may harm the baby. Like all statins, atorvastatin works by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme found in the liver that plays a role in producing cholesterol.
Atorvastatin was patented in 1986, and approved for medical use in the United States in 1996. It is available as a generic medication. In the United States, the wholesale cost per month is about US$3.80 as of 2018. In the United Kingdom, it costs the NHS about £0.70 per month as of 2018. In 2017, it was the second most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 104 million prescriptions