Compare Niaspan vs. pravastatin

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

Niaspan
(Niacin)

pravastatin

Lowers cholesterol. Niaspan (Niacin) lowers triglycerides, but isn't as good as statins for improving cholesterol levels.Lowers cholesterol. Pravachol (pravastatin) can improve cholesterol, but it's not as strong as other statin medicines. It does cause fewer side effects and is safer for your kidneys and liver.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.23Niaspan
Reviews for Niaspan
43%
of people (All ages) say Niaspan is worth it
31%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
380 reviews
Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for pravastatin
54%
-11% worse vs. Niaspan
44%
-13% worse vs. Niaspan
19%
Same vs. Niaspan
426 reviews
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Niaspanpravastatin
  • Rash 5%
  • Itching 6%
  • Flushing 49%
More Niaspan side effects »
  • Increased liver enzymes 1%
  • Rash 2%
  • Abdominal swelling 1%
  • Influenza 2%
  • Myalgia 2%
  • Bile duct disease 2%
  • Chest pain     2%
More pravastatin side effects »
How it works
Niaspanpravastatin
Niaspan (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.Pravachol (pravastatin) 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).
Type of medication
Niaspanpravastatin
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
Niaspanpravastatin
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
Niaspanpravastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Niaspanpravastatin
  • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Past history of liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants
Detailed Niaspan (Niacin) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney disease
  • An underactive thyroid
  • Over age 65
  • Female gender
  • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
Detailed Pravachol (pravastatin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Interactions
Niaspanpravastatin
  • Niaspan (Niacin) can interact with blood thinners and make you more likely to bleed. Your doctor may have you do regular blood tests and change your medication doses.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
Niaspanpravastatin
  • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
No alcohol related info.
Food
Niaspanpravastatin
  • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
Niaspanpravastatin
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) is less likely to cause muscle and kidney damage than other statin medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, Pravachol (pravastatin) is the safest statin to use.
Pain
Niaspanpravastatin
  • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
Niaspanpravastatin
  • 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).
  • Compared to other statins, Pravachol (pravastatin) has fewer interactions with medicines.
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) is less likely to cause muscle and kidney damage than other statin medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, Pravachol (pravastatin) is the safest statin to use.
  • It's available as a generic.
Downsides and risks
Niaspanpravastatin
  • 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.
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) isn't as strong as other statins in lowering your cholesterol.
  • You'll still need to eat a low fat diet and exercise regularly to get the full benefit of Pravachol (pravastatin).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Niaspanpravastatin
  • Take Niaspan (Niacin) at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
  • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
  • Can cause make your skin feel hot and change color. Your doctor may tell you to take an aspirin 30 minutes before you take Niaspan (Niacin) to reduce the flushing.
  • Call your doctor if you feel unexplained muscle pain.
  • Niaspan (Niacin) works differently from other medicines you can buy over-the-counter. Don't switch it with other medicines unless your doctor agrees.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
  • Most people reach their target cholesterol levels in 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Don't eat grapefruit and drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Also let your doctor know if you notice dark urine or yellowing of your eyes or skin.
  • You'll need to stop taking Pravachol (pravastatin) if you get pregnant.
Learn more
More about NiaspanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about pravastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it