Compare Niaspan vs. Vytorin

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

Niaspan
(Niacin)

Vytorin
(Ezetimibe / Simvastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. niacin is good for lowering triglycerides (fats), but it's not as good as statins for improving cholesterol.Lowers cholesterol. Vytorin is expensive and is no more effective than simvastatin by itself.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.226315789473684Niaspan
Reviews for Niaspan (Niacin)
43%
of people say Niaspan (Niacin) is worth it
31%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Vytorin (Ezetimibe / Simvastatin)
52%
+9% vs. Niaspan (Niacin)
36%
+5% vs. Niaspan (Niacin)
19%
Same vs. Niaspan (Niacin)
Side effects
NiaspanVytorin
  • Flushing 50%
  • Itching 6%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Cough increased 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
More Niaspan side effects »
  • Unexplained muscle pain or weakness 1%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 1%
  • Pain in extremity 1%
  • Flu 1%
More Vytorin side effects »
How it works
NiaspanVytorin
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. It may also help your body process cholesterol.Vytorin is a combination cholesterol-lowering medicine. Simvastatin prevents your body from making "bad" cholesterol (LDL) while raising "good" cholesterol (HDL). Ezetimibe prevents cholesterol absorption in your intestines.
Type of medication
NiaspanVytorin
Cholesterol-lowering
Nicotinic acid
Prescription only
Cholesterol-lowering
Cholesterol inhibitor
Statin
Prescription only
Available as
NiaspanVytorin
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
NiaspanVytorin
Risk factors for serious side effects
NiaspanVytorin
  • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Past history of liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants
Detailed Niaspan (Niacin) risks & warnings »
  • Asian patients taking high-dose niacin
  • Past history of liver disease
  • heavy alcohol use
  • Diabetes
      • Pregnancy
      Detailed Vytorin (Ezetimibe / Simvastatin) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      NiaspanVytorin
      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
      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
      Alcohol
      • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
      • People who take Niaspan (Niacin) have reported liver damage, especially if taken with statins or if you drink large amounts of alcohol. This has been rare. Talk to your doctor if you've ever had liver disease as they may discuss alternatives, or they may monitor your liver with blood tests.
      • People who take Vytorin (Ezetimibe / Simvastatin) have reported liver damage, especially if taken with statins or if you drink large amounts of alcohol. This has been rare. Talk to your doctor if you've ever had liver disease as they may discuss alternatives, or they may monitor your liver with blood tests.
      Food
      • You have to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
      • Take it at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
      • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
      No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • People on Niaspan (Niacin) 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.
      • People on Vytorin (Ezetimibe / Simvastatin) have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle breakdown and kidney damage, especially in people of Asian ancestry who are also taking niacin. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you suddenly develop muscle pain and a 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
      NiaspanVytorin
      • Lowers the risk of a second heart attack.
      • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
      • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
      • A 2-in-1 cholesterol-lowering combination medicine.
      • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
      Downsides and risks
      NiaspanVytorin
      • By itself, niacin is not as effective as statins for improving cholesterol.
      • Can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
      • You have to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
      • If you don't take it regularly, you might have to re-start the medicine at a lower dose.
      • In clinical studies, simvastatin/ezetimibe hasn't controlled cholesterol better than simvastatin alone.
      • There's no generic available, so it can be expensive.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      NiaspanVytorin
      • Take it at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
      • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
      • Can cause flushing.
      • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
      • Call your doctor if you develop muscle pain.
      • Take it in the evening.
      • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
      • Can cause headaches or diarrhea.
      • Also taking Welchol or Questran? Take this medicine at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after.
      • Call your doctor if you develop muscle pain.
      Learn more
      More about NiaspanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about VytorinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert