Compare Atorvastatin vs. Zetia

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

Lipitor
(atorvastatin)

Zetia
(ezetimibe)

Lowers cholesterol. Lipitor (atorvastatin) improves your cholesterol levels and is a common first treatment for people with high cholesterol or heart disease.Lowers cholesterol. Zetia (ezetimibe) can improve your cholesterol and can be used as an alternative to statins.
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Coupons for Atorvastatin
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of atorvastatin
Coupons for Zetia
Best available price for 30 (10mg) tablets of ezetimibe
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 Zetia (ezetimibe)
42%
-21% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
34%
-17% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
21%
-8% worse vs. Lipitor (atorvastatin)
128 reviews
Have you used Zetia (ezetimibe)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtorvastatinZetia
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Muscle spasms 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
More Atorvastatin side effects »
  • Common cold 1%
  • Sore throat 4%
  • Sinus infection 1%
  • Abnormal liver tests 3%
  • Joint pain 1%
  • Pain in arms and legs 1%
  • Muscle pain 3%
More Zetia side effects »
How it works
AtorvastatinZetia
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).Zetia (ezetimibe) is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. It stops your body from absorbing cholesterol in food and helps process other forms of cholesterol.
Type of medication
AtorvastatinZetia
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
AtorvastatinZetia
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
AtorvastatinZetia
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtorvastatinZetia
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Prior history of chronic liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • History of hemorrhagic strokes
Detailed Lipitor (atorvastatin) risks & warnings »
  • Taking Zetia (ezetimibe) with statins
  • Past history of liver disease
Detailed Zetia (ezetimibe) 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 animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
AtorvastatinZetia
  • 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
AtorvastatinZetia
  • 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.
  • Zetia (ezetimibe) can hurt your liver, especially if it is used with statins. Talk to your doctor if you have liver disease.
Pain
AtorvastatinZetia
  • Tell your doctor if you suddenly feel severe muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Zetia (ezetimibe) can hurt your liver, especially if it is used with statins. Talk to your doctor if you have liver disease.
Upsides and benefits
AtorvastatinZetia
  • 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 raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Can be used with other medicines to improve cholesterol.
  • Available in a combination pill with simvastatin.
  • Available as a generic.
Downsides and risks
AtorvastatinZetia
  • 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).
  • Doesn't lower triglycerides (fats).
  • Hasn't been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks or heart disease.
  • By itself, it isn't as effective as statins for improving cholesterol.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtorvastatinZetia
  • 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 raises good cholesterol.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop bone or muscle pain.
  • Can be used with other medications to lower cholesterol.
  • Good alternative to statins if you can't tolerate statins or are unable to control cholesterol with statins alone.
  • Can cause diarrhea or increase your chance of getting colds.
Learn more
More about AtorvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZetiaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zetia (ezetimibe)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it