Compare Atorvastatin vs. pravastatin

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

Lipitor
(atorvastatin)

Pravachol
(pravastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. Lipitor (atorvastatin) improves your cholesterol levels and is a common first treatment for people with high cholesterol or heart disease.Lowers cholesterol. Pravachol (pravastatin) can improve cholesterol, but it's not as strong as other statin medicines. It does cause fewer side effects and is safer for your kidneys and liver.
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Coupons for Atorvastatin
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of atorvastatin
Coupons for pravastatin
Best available price for 30 (40mg) tablets of pravastatin
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 Pravachol (pravastatin)
54%
-9% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
44%
-7% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
19%
-6% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
426 reviews
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Muscle spasms 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
More Atorvastatin side effects »
  • Upper respiratory infection 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Headache 2%
  • Chest pain 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Rash 2%
  • Muscle pain 2%
More pravastatin side effects »
How it works
Atorvastatinpravastatin
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).Pravachol (pravastatin) is 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).
Type of medication
Atorvastatinpravastatin
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
Atorvastatinpravastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Prior history of chronic liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • History of hemorrhagic strokes
Detailed Lipitor (atorvastatin) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney disease
  • An underactive thyroid
  • Over age 65
  • Female gender
  • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
Detailed Pravachol (pravastatin) 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 real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

Alcohol
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) is less likely to cause muscle and kidney damage than other statin medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, Pravachol (pravastatin) is the safest statin to use.
Pain
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • Tell your doctor if you suddenly feel severe muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • Compared to other statins, Pravachol (pravastatin) has fewer interactions with medicines.
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) is less likely to cause muscle and kidney damage than other statin medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, Pravachol (pravastatin) is the safest statin to use.
  • It's available as a generic.
Downsides and risks
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • 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).
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) isn't as strong as other statins in lowering your cholesterol.
  • You'll still need to eat a low fat diet and exercise regularly to get the full benefit of Pravachol (pravastatin).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Atorvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
  • Most people reach their target cholesterol levels in 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Don't eat grapefruit and drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Also let your doctor know if you notice dark urine or yellowing of your eyes or skin.
  • You'll need to stop taking Pravachol (pravastatin) if you get pregnant.
Learn more
More about AtorvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about pravastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it