Compare Niaspan vs. simvastatin

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

Niaspan (Niacin)

Prescription only

Zocor (simvastatin)

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.

Zocor (simvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1176 reviewsforsimvastatin
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).
  • 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 triglycerides (fats) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in combination pills with other cholesterol medicines.
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.
  • You are at higher risk for side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Can have more drug interactions than some other drugs in the same class (statins).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
No pricing information available
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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
1176 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?

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
The Zocor (simvastatin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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 pain and kidney damage
    • Kidney disease
    • High dose of Zocor (simvastatin)
    • Combining Zocor (simvastatin) with other cholesterol-lowering drugs
    • Older age
    • Female gender
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • History of chronic liver disease
  • Harm to unborn baby
    • Pregnancy
    • Breast feeding
  • Drug interactions
    • Certain drugs can increase the dose of Zocor (simvastatin) in the body
  • High blood sugar
    • History of high blood sugar
See more detailed risks and warnings