Compare Lovastatin vs. Zetia

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

Mevacor
(Lovastatin)

Zetia
(Ezetimibe)

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. Zetia can improve your cholesterol, but it doesn't reduce heart attacks or heart disease, and it's expensive compared to other cholesterol-lowering medicines.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.517241379310345Lovastatin
Reviews for Mevacor (Lovastatin)
43%
of people say Mevacor (Lovastatin) is worth it
39%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Zetia (Ezetimibe)
42%
1% vs. Mevacor (Lovastatin)
34%
5% vs. Mevacor (Lovastatin)
20%
+2% vs. Mevacor (Lovastatin)
Side effects
LovastatinZetia
  • Constipation 2%
  • Passing gas 1%
  • Muscle weakness 1%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
More Lovastatin side effects »
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Arthtralgia 1%
More Zetia side effects »
How it works
LovastatinZetia
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).Zetia is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. It prevents cholesterol absorption in your intestines, lowers the amount of cholesterol stored in your liver, and helps your body process cholesterol.
Type of medication
LovastatinZetia
Cholesterol-lowering
Statin
Prescription only
Cholesterol-lowering
Cholesterol inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
LovastatinZetia
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
LovastatinZetia
Risk factors for serious side effects
LovastatinZetia
  • 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 Zetia (Ezetimibe) with statins
      • Past history of liver disease
      • Taking Zetia (Ezetimibe) with statins
      Detailed Zetia (Ezetimibe) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      LovastatinZetia
      XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. 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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      • 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.
      • 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 specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
      No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • People on Zetia (Ezetimibe) while taking statins have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain or weakness or fever and you don't know why.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      LovastatinZetia
      • 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.
      • Can be used with other medicines to improve cholesterol.
      • Available in a combination pill with simvastatin.
      Downsides and risks
      LovastatinZetia
      • 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.
      • Doesn't lower triglycerides (fats).
      • Hasn't been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks or heart disease.
      • By itself, Zetia is not as effective as statins for improving cholesterol.
      • There's no generic available, so it can be expensive.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      LovastatinZetia
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • May cause diarrhea or raise your chance of getting colds.
      Learn more
      More about LovastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about ZetiaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert