Compare Atorvastatin vs. Simvastatin

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

Lipitor
(atorvastatin)

Zocor
(simvastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. Lipitor (atorvastatin) improves your cholesterol levels and is a common first treatment for people with high cholesterol or heart disease.Lowers cholesterol. Zocor (Simvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (20mg) tablets of atorvastatin
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Prices and coupon for 30 (20mg) tablets of simvastatin
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 Zocor (simvastatin)
61%
-2% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
48%
-3% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
14%
-1% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
1176 reviews
Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtorvastatinSimvastatin
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Muscle spasms 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
More Atorvastatin side effects »
  • Upper respiratory infections 9%
  • Abdominal pain 7%
  • Constipation 7%
  • Headache 7%
  • Bronchitis 1%
  • Abnormal heart rhythm 1%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Scaly, itchy rash 2%
  • Upset stomach 3%
  • Vertigo 1%
More Simvastatin side effects »
How it works
AtorvastatinSimvastatin
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).Zocor (Simvastatin) 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
AtorvastatinSimvastatin
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
AtorvastatinSimvastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
AtorvastatinSimvastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtorvastatinSimvastatin
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Prior history of chronic liver disease
    • Pregnancy
    • History of hemorrhagic strokes
      Detailed Lipitor (atorvastatin) risks & warnings »
      • Kidney disease
      • High dose of Zocor (Simvastatin)
      • Combining Zocor (Simvastatin) with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs
      • Older age and female gender
      • Heavy alcohol use
      • History of chronic liver disease
      • Pregnancy
      • Breast feeding
      • Certain drugs can increase the dose of Zocor (Simvastatin) in the body
        Detailed Zocor (simvastatin) 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.

        Interactions
        AtorvastatinSimvastatin
        No interactions related info.
        • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
        Alcohol
        AtorvastatinSimvastatin
        • 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.
        • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
        Kidneys and liver
        AtorvastatinSimvastatin
        • 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.
        • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
        • There are rare cases of muscle damage leading to kidney failure in people taking Zocor (Simvastatin). The risk is greater in people with kidney disease or thyroid disease, are older and female and taking certain cholesterol-lowering medication combinations. Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, weakness or fever and there is no known cause.
        • There are reports of liver damage in people who take Zocor (Simvastatin), especially if they are heavy alcohol drinkers or have a history of liver disease. If you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin, tell your doctor. Your doctor may also want to check your liver function periodically.
        Pain
        AtorvastatinSimvastatin
        • Tell your doctor if you suddenly feel severe muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
        • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis) and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
        Upsides and benefits
        AtorvastatinSimvastatin
        • 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 triglycerides (fats) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
        • Can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, particularly if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or a history of smoking.
        Downsides and risks
        AtorvastatinSimvastatin
        • 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).
        • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
        • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
        • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AtorvastatinSimvastatin
        • 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.
        • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
        • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
        • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
        Learn more
        More about AtorvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about SimvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it