Fertility and reproduction studies were conducted in rats with the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor, atorvastatin. Male rats received vehicle (0.5% methylcellulose) or atorvastatin at 20, 100, or 175 mg/kg by oral gavage for 11 weeks prior to mating with untreated females; treatment continued throughout mating and until necropsy on Day 115. An untreated control group of males was also included in the same procedures. Dose-related body weight gain suppressions of 17 and 25%, and food consumption suppressions of 7 and 16%, occurred during the 11-week premating treatment period at 100 and 175 mg/kg, respectively, compared with vehicle controls. There were no treatment-related effects on testes, epididymides, or accessory organs weights, testicular or epididymal sperm counts, sperm motility, or sperm morphology during Week 15 of treatment. Plasma drug concentrations during Week 15 increased with dose to a Cmax of 1820 +/- 1020 ng eq/ml at 175 mg/kg. There were no effects on copulation or fertility indices, number of days to mating, or female reproductive parameters (number of implants, live fetuses, or pre- and postimplantation loss). In the female fertility study, female rats received vehicle (0.5% methylcellulose) or atorvastatin at 20, 100, or 225 mg/kg by oral gavage for 2 weeks prior to mating with untreated males; treatment continued throughout mating and until Gestation Day 7. Sperm-positive females were sacrificed on presumed Gestation Day 13 to 15 for evaluation of reproductive parameters. Body weight gain in atorvastatin groups was comparable to controls during the premating period, but was suppressed by 35% at 225 mg/kg during the treatment period of gestation (Days 0-8), and was significantly increased at 225 mg/ kg during the posttreatment period of gestation (Days 8-13). Plasma drug concentrations on premating treatment Day 14 increased with dose to a Cmax of 7030 +/- 3680 ng eq/ml at 225 mg/ kg. The mean number of estrous cycles, copulation and fertility indices, number of days to mating, and number of viable litters were comparable between groups. In addition, term sacrifice parameters (number of corpora lutea, implants, live fetuses, pre- and postimplantation loss) were not significantly different between groups. Thus, these studies demonstrate no adverse effects of atorvastatin on fertility and reproduction in rats at doses up to 175 and 225 mg/kg in males and females, respectively, and 20 mg/kg was a no-effect dose.