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.
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Coupons for Atorvastatin
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of atorvastatin
Coupons for simvastatin
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of simvastatin
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.16Atorvastatin
Reviews for Atorvastatin
63%
of people (All ages) say 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 simvastatin
61%
+2% better vs. Atorvastatin
48%
+3% better vs. Atorvastatin
14%
+1% better vs. 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 »
  • Bronchitis 1%
  • Abnormal heart rhythm 1%
  • Scaly, itchy rash 2%
  • Stomach problems 1%
  • Balance problems 1%
  • Headache 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 helps lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL).
Type of medication
Atorvastatinsimvastatin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Atorvastatinsimvastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
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 other cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Older age
  • Female gender
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.

Interactions
Atorvastatinsimvastatin
No interactions related info.
  • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking.
  • Can have more drug interactions than some other drugs in the same class (statins).
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 are at higher risk for side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
Kidneys and liver
Atorvastatinsimvastatin
  • 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 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 Zocor (simvastatin) have reported muscle pain, which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This is more likely to happen if you take higher doses of Zocor (simvastatin). If you suddenly feel muscle pain, weakness or fever and you haven't been exercising, stop taking Zocor (simvastatin) and talk to your doctor right away.
  • 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 regularly.
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, muscle damage, 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.
  • Can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, particularly if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or a history of smoking.
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides (fats) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in combination pills with other cholesterol medicines.
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).
  • You are at higher risk for side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Can have more drug interactions than some other drugs in the same class (statins).
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 about the medicines you are taking.
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