Common side effects of Lipitor include headache, hoarseness, problems urinating, stuffy nose and lower back pain, according to Drugs.com. Joint pain, diarrhea, gas, forgetfulness and confusion may also occur , notes MedlinePlus. Patients should contact a doctor if any side effects are persistent or bothersome.
Rarely, taking Lipitor causes severe side effects, such as muscle weakness or pain, fever, chest pain, extreme fatigue, and abnormal bruising or bleeding, explains MedlinePlus. Other severe side effects, such as pain in the upper right area of the stomach, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, loss of appetite and flu-like symptoms, may also occur. Patients experiencing severe side effects require immediate medical care. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Lipitor requiring emergency medical attention include hives, itching, trouble breathing, and swelling of the face or tongue.
Lipitor is classified as an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, or a statin drug. It works by slowing the body's production of cholesterol and decreasing the amount of cholesterol that deposits on artery walls, explains MedlinePlus. When combined with weight management, a healthy diet and an exercise program, Lipitor can help decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke in people who have or are at risk of developing heart disease.