Lipitor Drug Interactions

by on April 20, 2012

Lipitor is a statin which lower the levels of bad or LDL cholesterol in the body. There are over 200 drugs known to cause interactions with Lipitor, whether in a very minor way or with such severe consequences that the risk of taking the drug with Lipitor outweighs any possible benefit taking the two of them together.


Lipitor should not be taken with other statins like Lovastatin, Pravastin (Pravachol), Simvastatin and Crestor. These drugs taken together can cause myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Myopathy is felt as pain or weakness in the muscles. Rhabdomyolysis happens when the skeletal muscles break down. The detritus caused by this break down might enter the kidneys and cause them to fail. The interaction might also lead to peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage to the extremities. The peripheral neuropathy might be permanent. The symptoms are tingling, pain, numbness and a burning sensation in the hands and feet.

Blood Thinners

Medications that thin the blood may have adverse reactions with Lipitor; these include aspirin, Warfarin, Celebrex, NSAIDs—or Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs, Plavix and Nexium.

Macrolide Antibiotics

Macrolide antibiotics like erythromycin also can cause myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. These antibiotics get their name because they have a macrolide ring to which are attached sugar molecules. Other macrolide antibiotics are clarithromycin and roxithroymycin. Patients who take these drugs with Lipitor might also experience muscle pain and weakness, with fever, a general ill feeling, or urine that’s dark in color.

Protease Inhibitors

Protease inhibitors that are used to treat hepatitis and HIV can also cause myopathy when taken with Lipitor.  These drugs include Victrelis, Incivek, Invirasem, Viracept and others. If Lipitor has to be taken with these protease inhibitors, the dosage of Lipitor shouldn’t exceed 20 milligrams per day.


Some steroids like Danazol also increase a patient’s risk of myopathy when taken with Lipitor, but rhabdomyolysis is unusual. Once again, if Lipitor must be taken with steroids, it should be taken at a lower dose than usual and the patient should be monitored for toxicity of their skeletal muscles.

Antifungal Drugs

Antifungal drugs like Diflucan, Noxafil and Vfend  can also cause serious symptoms in the skeletal muscles when taken with Lipitor, though kidney failure is rare.


Colchicine is a drug that’s used to treat gout and other types of rheumatic diseases. Colchicine and Lipitor seem to be dangerous for elderly patients who have already suffered from some manner of kidney disease.


Niacin is a B vitamin, but physicians should be careful when they prescribe Lipitor with someone who’s taking niacin supplements. Niacin can be prescribed and sold under the names Niacin SR, Nico 400, and Nicobid Tempules. The myopathy and rhabdomyolysis that occur when niacin is taken with Lipitor can be very severe. The risk is especially high when niacin and Lipitor are taken together by patients of Chinese heritage. No one really knows why this is.