Compare Atorvastatin vs. pravastatin

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

Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Prescription only

Pravachol (pravastatin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

Lipitor (atorvastatin) improves your cholesterol levels and is a common first treatment for people with high cholesterol or heart disease.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1377 reviewsforAtorvastatin
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.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 426 reviewsforpravastatin
Upsides
  • 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
  • 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).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
1377 reviews so far
63%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?

Leave a review
426 reviews so far
54%
saidit'sworth it
44%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
12possible side effects
  • Common cold
    8%
  • Joint pain
    7%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Pain in the arms and legs
    6%
  • Urinary tract infection
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Nausea
    4%
  • Musculoskeletal pain
    4%
  • Muscle Spasms
    4%
  • Myalgia
    4%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Sore throat
    2%
See more detailed side effects
20possible side effects
  • Muscle, joint or ligament/tendon pain    
    10%
  • Nausea, vomiting    
    7%
  • Diarrhea    
    7%
  • Headache    
    6%
  • Upper respiratory infection    
    6%
  • Chest pain    
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Stuffy nose
    4%
  • Muscle damage
    4%
  • Flatulence    
    3%
  • Indigestion, heartburn    
    3%
  • Fatigue    
    3%
  • Cough
    3%
  • Increased liver enzymes
    3%
  • Abdominal swelling
    2%
  • Influenza
    2%
  • Muscle pain
    2%
  • Sore throat
    2%
  • Bile duct disease
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Muscle pain
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Prior history of chronic liver disease
  • Birth defects
    • Pregnancy
  • Stroke
    • History of hemorrhagic strokes
  • Increased blood sugars
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Muscle damage
    • Kidney disease
    • An underactive thyroid
    • Over age 65
    • Female gender
    • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • History of chronic liver disease
  • Harm to fetus
    • Pregnancy
    • Breast feeding
  • Endocrine function
    • Spironolactone use
    • Cimetidine use
    • Ketoconazole use
See more detailed risks and warnings
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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.