Lipitor the Cholesterol Buster

Touted as a new cholesterol buster, Lipitor was said to have very few side effects. That turned out not to be true.

Atorvastatin seemed to be a dream drug, the answer to those who were diagnosed with high cholesterol levels. Pfizer marketed this drug like there was no tomorrow and made it a point to mention that Lipitor had very few side effects.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and many people across the nation found themselves talking to a dangerous drug attorney to assess their case. Lipitor is in a class of drugs called statins whose major function is to lower cholesterol.

Pfizer has a history of bringing out blockbuster drugs and you might recognize some of them because they are so popular: Viagra, Diflucan, Zithromax, Celebrex and Zoloft. They are also noted for the groundbreaking drug, Aricept, used to treat Alzheimer’s patients.

Lipitor/atorvastatin turned into a virtual success overnight, raking up sales of close to $12.9 billion in 2006 when it was first released on the market. From then on, sales have continued to soar and return healthy revenue to Pfizer.

Then, one day the roof fell in, and Lipitor patients were reporting rhabdomyolysis and severe liver damage. Lipitor sales plummeted to about $6 billion for the first quarter of 2007 compared to $6.2 billion in the same quarter in 2006.

Despite the damaging reports from Lipitor patients, statins are still in high demand, as more than 52 million people suffer from high cholesterol. Roughly one-third that number seeks treatment for it. The sales potential for this drug is virtually unlimited. The patent on Lipitor is good until 2010 even though the drug company wanted an extension until 2011.

Things were going well until the Food and Drug Administration started getting reports that people were dying from liver damage, heart problems and severe muscle deterioration as a result of taking Lipitor. It turns out that Lipitor’s side effects may be numerous, including diarrhea, muscle pain, headache, joint pain, memory loss, severe liver problems, and non-functioning muscle fibers (rhabdomyolysis).

Non-functioning muscle fibers means muscle breakdown, with the muscle cells purging their contents into the blood stream. This winds up in the liver and causes severe damage or death. This drug inhibits an enzyme needed to make cholesterol in the liver. It also blocks the manufacture of CoQ10 that benefits the heart.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Division of Public Health Sciences found Lipitor to be one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. In fact, it ranked it as the eighth most dangerous drug with over 6,000 adverse events. That’s pretty hard to ignore.

If you have experienced Lipitor side effects, contact a highly skilled dangerous drug attorney and discuss your situation. Knowing your rights will help you decide whether or not to file a dangerous drug lawsuit.

Christopher Mellino is a Cleveland Malpractice Lawyer specializing in Cleveland Medical Malpractice cases in Ohio. To learn more about Cleveland medical malpractice, Cleveland malpractice lawyer, Cleveland medical malpractice, Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer, visit

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