Lipitor is the brand name of a drug called Atorvastatin, which is part of a class of drugs called statins. Statins are used to prevent strokes, lower cholesterol, stabilize plaque formation and reduce the risk of heart attack. They are the most prescribed drugs in the world. 
Unfortunately, Lipitor and other similar drugs have proved to do more than just help the heart and reduce cholesterol. Studies have shown that Lipitor may have serious cognitive side effects for patients and may increase the risk of muscle injury if taken with certain other drugs. Furthermore, Lipitor could increase the chances that a patient will develop diabetes. Patients were generally not warned of these serious Lipitor risks and if you or a loved one has experienced unexpected side effects as a result of Lipitor use, a Boston defective drug lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman should be consulted for help determining if you can take legal action against the drug manufacturer.Lipitor Risks to Patients
Lipitor is manufactured by Pfizer and, until May of 2012, no generic version of the drug was available on the market. As the only statin drug of its type on the market, Lipitor sales have exceeded $125 billion since the medication was first approved for sale in 1996.
Unfortunately, news of many serious complications has arisen over more than a decade of Lipitor use. For example:
- A New York Times article in 2012 warned that thousands of the 21+ million patients who were prescribed Lipitor had made complaints of having memory problems and feeling “fuzzy.” The FDA has since acknowledged that complaints about cognitive impairments among Lipitor patients are common.
- The FDA warned healthcare professionals in 2012 of a drug interaction risk between Lipitor and protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors are commonly prescribed for HIV patients and patients with hepatitis C. Patients who experience the dangerous drug interaction may experience serious myopathy (muscle injury) including rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis can lead to fatal kidney failure.
- Research, including a study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine, revealed a link between Lipitor and Type-2 diabetes. In the study of 154,000 women collected over 12 years, research indicated that women were 48 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if they were taking Lipitor than if they weren’t. Another study published in the American Journal of Cardiology affirmed that patients taking 80 milligrams or more of the active ingredients in Lipitor were at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
These side effects can have serious adverse health consequences, sometimes necessitating costly treatment. Many of the side effects associated with Lipitor are not curable and have a permanent impact on the life of the patient.
Pfizer must be held responsible for releasing a dangerous product onto the market and for not adequately warning patients of the risks of taking Lipitor to control their cholesterol or help their hearts. An experienced Boston defective drug lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can assist plaintiffs who developed side effects to obtain compensation. Call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.