Compare Atorvastatin vs. Niaspan

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lipitor
(atorvastatin)

Niaspan
(niacin)

Lowers cholesterol. Lipitor (atorvastatin) improves your cholesterol levels and is a common first treatment for people with high cholesterol or heart disease.Lowers cholesterol. Niaspan (Niacin) lowers triglycerides, but isn't as good as statins for improving cholesterol levels.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (20mg) tablets of atorvastatin
Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 30 (500mg) tablets of niacin
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.16Atorvastatin
Reviews for Lipitor (atorvastatin)
63%
of people (All ages) say Lipitor (atorvastatin) is worth it
51%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
1377 reviews
Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Niaspan (niacin)
43%
-20% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
31%
-20% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
19%
-6% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
380 reviews
Have you used Niaspan (niacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtorvastatinNiaspan
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Muscle spasms 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
More Atorvastatin side effects »
  • Flushing 49%
  • Itching 6%
  • Rash 5%
More Niaspan side effects »
How it works
AtorvastatinNiaspan
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a cholesterol-lowering medicine called a statin. It lowers the amount of cholesterol your body makes, which helps lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL).Niaspan (Niacin) is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to lower the amount of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) made by the liver.
Type of medication
AtorvastatinNiaspan
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
AtorvastatinNiaspan
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
AtorvastatinNiaspan
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtorvastatinNiaspan
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Prior history of chronic liver disease
    • Pregnancy
    • History of hemorrhagic strokes
      Detailed Lipitor (atorvastatin) risks & warnings »
      • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins
      • Heavy alcohol use
      • Past history of liver disease
      • Diabetes
      • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants
      • Gout
      Detailed Niaspan (niacin) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

      Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      Interactions
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      No interactions related info.
      • Niaspan (Niacin) can interact with blood thinners and make you more likely to bleed. Your doctor may have you do regular blood tests and change your medication doses.
      Alcohol
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are a female, are 65 years or older, or drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
      Food
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      No food related info.
      • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
      • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
      • Niaspan (Niacin) can interact with blood thinners and make you more likely to bleed. Your doctor may have you do regular blood tests and change your medication doses.
      Kidneys and liver
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      • Statins such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, or liver damage. Some people need to stop taking this medicine if these problems occur.
      • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can raise your risk of liver damage while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin).
      • People on Lipitor (atorvastatin) have reported muscle pain, which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This is more likely to happen if you're older and you're taking higher doses of Lipitor (atorvastatin). If you suddenly feel muscle pain or weakness and you haven't been exercising, stop taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) and talk to your doctor right away.
      • Liver damage has been reported in people who take Lipitor (atorvastatin). If you notice dark urine or yellowing of your eyes or skin, talk to your doctor. Your doctor might run blood tests to check your liver.
      No kidneys and liver related info.
      Pain
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      • Tell your doctor if you suddenly feel severe muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
      • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
      Upsides and benefits
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides (fats), and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
      • Lipitor (atorvastatin) can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, particularly if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or a history of smoking.
      • It's one of the strongest cholesterol-lowering statin medications.
      • Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a good option for people who have high cholesterol and diabetes.
      • It's available as a generic drug and can be used in combination with other cholesterol lowering drugs.
      • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
      • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
      Downsides and risks
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      • Statins such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, or liver damage. Some people need to stop taking this medicine if these problems occur.
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are a female, are 65 years or older, or drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can raise your risk of liver damage while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin).
      • By itself, Niaspan (Niacin) isn't as effective as statins for improving cholesterol levels.
      • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
      • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
      • If you miss doses often, you may need to re-start taking the medicine more regularly at a lower dose.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      AtorvastatinNiaspan
      • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
      • Don't eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
      • Tell your doctor if you suddenly feel severe muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
      • Also tell your doctor if you have dark urine or if you notice a yellow tint in your eyes or skin.
      • Lipitor (atorvastatin) isn't safe to use if you're pregnant.
      • Take Niaspan (Niacin) at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
      • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
      • Can cause make your skin feel hot and change color. Your doctor may tell you to take an aspirin 30 minutes before you take Niaspan (Niacin) to reduce the flushing.
      • Call your doctor if you feel unexplained muscle pain.
      • Niaspan (Niacin) works differently from other medicines you can buy over-the-counter. Don't switch it with other medicines unless your doctor agrees.
      Learn more
      More about AtorvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about NiaspanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Niaspan (niacin)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it