Atorvastatin side effects
Atorvastatin may cause rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue which results in releasing muscle fiber contents into the blood, also known as “dissolution of skeletal muscle”. It is a serious side effect with possible fatal outcome! It can lead to complications, such as: kidney failure, tubular necrosis and shock. Kidney failure occurs because your kidneys cannot handle large increases in muscle fiber contents in the blood and cannot filter the urine.
If rhabdomyolysis is suspected, following laboratory tests may be done to confirm diagnosis: urine myoglobin test, urinalysis, serum calcium level, serum potassium level and creatine kinase level. The outcome depends on level of kidney function. Effective care often results in positive outcomes for patients. However, the sooner you start to get medical care, the better your chances of positive outcome. Therefore, you should know the signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis:
- Changes in the urine (its color or consistency) or decrease in urine production. If you notice that your urine is dark or red, immediately call your doctor.
- Muscle pain, muscle stiffness or muscle tenderness (especially if the affected area includes shoulders and lower back).
- General weakness
- Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
If you are experiencing any of abovementioned symptoms, discontinue use and visit your doctor.
Atorvastatin may cause liver damage. Although liver problems are rare, you should be aware of following symptoms: pain in your upper abdomen, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin), loss of appetite, changes in urine color (dark urine may occur) and fatigue. If you are experiencing these symptoms, discontinue use and visit your doctor.
Your doctor may conduct liver enzyme tests especially when you are starting the treatment in order to see is this medicine affects your liver. If your liver enzymes are elevated it indicate possible liver damage, so your doctor may prescribe other medicines for you to take.
Atorvastatin may also cause following side effects:
- nasopharyngitis (common cold),
- taste disturbances,
- visual disturbances,
- ringing in the ears,
- abdominal pain,
- hair loss,
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
- gynecomastia (overdevelopment of the male breast),
- decreased number of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia),
- high blood sugar levels,
- low blood sugar,
- allergy and others.
Inform your doctor if you are experiencing any of abovementioned side effects.