Compare Lovastatin vs. Niaspan

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

Mevacor
(Lovastatin)

Niaspan
(Niacin)

Lowers cholesterol. Mevacor (Lovastatin) can improve cholesterol, but it's not as strong as other statin medicines. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.Lowers cholesterol. niacin is good for lowering triglycerides (fats), but it's not as good as statins for improving cholesterol.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.54Lovastatin
Reviews for Mevacor (Lovastatin)
43%
of people (All ages) say Mevacor (Lovastatin) is worth it
39%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Mevacor (Lovastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Niaspan (Niacin)
43%
Same vs. Mevacor (Lovastatin)
31%
-8% worse vs. Mevacor (Lovastatin)
19%
+3% better vs. Mevacor (Lovastatin)
380 reviews
Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LovastatinNiaspan
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
  • Muscle weakness 1%
  • Elevations of ck levels 11%
More Lovastatin side effects »
  • Flushing 49%
  • Itching 6%
  • Rash 5%
More Niaspan side effects »
How it works
LovastatinNiaspan
Mevacor (Lovastatin) 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).niacin is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to lower the amount of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) made by the liver. It may also help your body process cholesterol.
Type of medication
LovastatinNiaspan
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
LovastatinNiaspan
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
LovastatinNiaspan
Risk factors for serious side effects
LovastatinNiaspan
  • Kidney disease
  • High dose of Mevacor (Lovastatin)
  • Combining with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Older age and female gender
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • History of chronic liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Breast feeding
  • Taking with certain drugs that increase the dose of Mevacor (Lovastatin) in the body
    Detailed Mevacor (Lovastatin) risks & warnings »
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Past history of liver disease
    • Diabetes
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants
    Detailed Niaspan (Niacin) 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.

    Interactions
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
    No interactions related info.
    Alcohol
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
    Food
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
    • You have to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
    • Take it at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
    • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
    Kidneys and liver
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • 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 Mevacor (Lovastatin). 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 Mevacor (Lovastatin), 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.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Pain
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • Can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
    Upsides and benefits
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
    • Lowers the risk of a second heart attack.
    • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
    Downsides and risks
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • Not the best choice for people who have very high cholesterol levels.
    • 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.
    • By itself, niacin is not as effective as statins for improving cholesterol.
    • Can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
    • You have to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
    • If you don't take it regularly, you might have to re-start the medicine at a lower dose.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    LovastatinNiaspan
    • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
    • Most people reach their target cholesterol levels in 4 to 6 weeks.
    • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
    • 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.
    • Take it at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
    • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
    • Can cause flushing.
    • Call your doctor if you develop muscle pain.
    • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
    Learn more
    More about LovastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Mevacor (Lovastatin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about NiaspanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it