Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a cholesterol-lowering medication prescribed in dosages between 10 to 80 mg daily, depending on the patient. It lowers the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ("bad cholesterol") to help combat heart disease by blocking an enzyme that the liver produces while making cholesterol. According to Mayo Clinic staff, Lipitor also helps the body reabsorb built-up deposits on artery walls so that blood can flow freely, lowering high blood pressure (a major factor in heart disease). The medication is usually relatively free of side effects, even when overdosed.
Overdose Side Effects Unknown
According to Drugs.com, no particular life-threatening symptoms or side effects are to be expected in case of an overdose of Lipitor. Lipitor's maker, Pfizer, states any overdose should be treated according to the symptoms displayed.
Side Effect Multipliers
Niacin can increase the harmful side effects of Lipitor on muscle, which can in turn harm the patient's kidneys and lead to renal failure, according to the Mayo Clinic. The use of alcohol with Lipitor can increase possible harmful side effects to the patient's liver.
Animal Overdose Side Effects in Trials
In trials for Lipitor, overdoses deliberately given to animals eventually led to a series of side effects including brain hemorrhage, convulsions and optic nerve degeneration. RxList.com said these side effects occurred in dogs given increasing overdoses over three months.