Compare Niaspan vs. Atorvastatin

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

Niaspan (Niacin)

Prescription only

Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

Niaspan (Niacin) lowers triglycerides, but isn't as good as statins for improving cholesterol levels.

4.2/ 7 average rating with 380 reviewsforNiaspan
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
Upsides
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
  • 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.
Downsides
  • By itself, Niaspan (Niacin) isn't as effective as statins for improving cholesterol levels.
  • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
  • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
  • If you miss doses often, you may need to re-start taking the medicine more regularly at a lower dose.
  • 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).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price near you
$67.88
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Lowest price near you
$10.55
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Reviews
380 
43%
think this treatment is worth it
31%
think this treatment works well
19%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?

Leave a review
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
Side effects
6possible side effects
  • Flushing
    68%
  • Itching
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Cough increased
    3%
See more detailed 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
Risks and warnings
  • Muscle pain

    Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins

  • Liver damage

    Heavy alcohol use

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • High blood sugar

    Diabetes

  • Low platelets

    Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants

  • Gout

    Gout

See more detailed 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