Pfizer is recalling its 40 mg bottles of Lipitor due to what it calls "a small number of reports" of an uncharacteristic odor related to the bottles in which the drug is packaged.
The drug company says a medical assessment has determined that the odor is not likely to cause adverse health consequences in patients taking Lipitor and that there is no need for those taking the medication to take any action.
Pfizer is advising patients to continue taking their medication as prescribed by their doctors, but says those experiencing the uncharacteristic odor associated with the medication should return the tablets to their pharmacist.
The company pledges to continue to monitor the situation and take any action necessary to ensure patient safety. It adds that it has taken a number of steps to ensure that there is no shortage of 40 mg Lipitor as a result of the recall.
Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) is a prescription medicine that is used along with a low-fat diet. It lowers the LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides in a patient's blood. It can raise HDL ("good") cholesterol as well.
The drug has been shown to lower the risk for heart attack, stroke, certain types of heart surgery, and chest pain in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease such as age, smoking, high blood pressure, low HDL, or family history of early heart disease.
Lipitor should not be taken by those with liver problems or women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant.
Common side effects include diarrhea, upset stomach, muscle and joint pain, and changes in some blood tests.
Those with questions about Lipitor should contact their doctor or pharmacist or call 1-888-LIPITOR.