Compare Niaspan vs. pravastatin

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

Niaspan (Niacin)

Prescription only

Pravachol (pravastatin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

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

3.2/ 5 average rating with 380 reviewsforNiaspan
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.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 426 reviewsforpravastatin
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).
  • 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
  • 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).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
380 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
31%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?

Leave a review
426 reviews so far
54%
saidit'sworth it
44%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?

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
20possible side effects
  • Muscle, joint or ligament/tendon pain    
    10%
  • Nausea, vomiting    
    7%
  • Diarrhea    
    7%
  • Headache    
    6%
  • Upper respiratory infection    
    6%
  • Chest pain    
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Stuffy nose
    4%
  • Muscle damage
    4%
  • Flatulence    
    3%
  • Indigestion, heartburn    
    3%
  • Fatigue    
    3%
  • Cough
    3%
  • Increased liver enzymes
    3%
  • Abdominal swelling
    2%
  • Influenza
    2%
  • Muscle pain
    2%
  • Sore throat
    2%
  • Bile duct disease
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Muscle pain
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Past history of liver disease
  • High blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Low platelets
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants
  • Gout
    • Gout
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Muscle damage
    • Kidney disease
    • An underactive thyroid
    • Over age 65
    • Female gender
    • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • History of chronic liver disease
  • Harm to fetus
    • Pregnancy
    • Breast feeding
  • Endocrine function
    • Spironolactone use
    • Cimetidine use
    • Ketoconazole use
See more detailed risks and warnings