Compare Atorvastatin vs. simvastatin

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

Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Prescription only

Zocor (simvastatin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

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

5.2/ 7 average rating with 1377 reviewsforAtorvastatin
Lowers cholesterol.

Zocor (simvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 1176 reviewsforsimvastatin
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.
  • 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
  • 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).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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$10.55
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$4
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Reviews
1377 
63%
think this treatment is worth it
51%
think this treatment works well
13%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?

Leave a review
1176 
61%
think this treatment is worth it
48%
think this treatment works well
14%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
10possible 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%
See more detailed side effects
The Zocor (simvastatin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Liver damage

    Heavy alcohol use

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Birth defects

    Pregnancy

  • Stroke

    History of hemorrhagic strokes

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Muscle pain and kidney damage

    Kidney disease

    ...and 4 more risk factors

  • Liver damage

    Heavy alcohol use

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Harm to unborn baby

    Pregnancy

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Drug interactions

    Certain drugs can increase the dose of Zocor (simvastatin) in the body

  • High blood sugar

    History of high blood sugar

See more detailed risks and warnings