In a statement emailed to WebMD, Pfizer spokesman Rick Chambers writes that there have been "a small number" of reports of the "uncharacteristic odor related to the bottles in which the product is packaged." Pfizer and the bottle supplier are investigating the source of the smell.
Health problems related to the smell aren't likely, according to Chambers.
"A medical risk assessment based on all the information we have has determined that the odor issue is not likely to cause adverse health consequences for patients," Chambers states.
The recall includes the following five lots of Lipitor bottles in the U.S.:
Each bottle contains 90 Lipitor tablets in a 40-milligram dose. All of those lots have an expiration date of 01/13, according to the FDA.
Two other lots of Lipitor bottles are being recalled in Canada.
Pfizer got three reports of the smell in July and the recall began in August. The recall notice was posted on the FDA's web site yesterday.
The recall isn't expected to trigger any Lipitor shortages, Chambers says.