Compare Pravastatin vs. Lovastatin

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

Pravachol
(Pravastatin)

Mevacor
(Lovastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. Pravachol (Pravastatin) can improve cholesterol, but it's not as strong as other statin medicines. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.Lowers cholesterol. Mevacor (Lovastatin) can improve cholesterol, but it's not as strong as other statin medicines. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.76Pravastatin
Reviews for Pravachol (Pravastatin)
54%
of people say Pravachol (Pravastatin) is worth it
44%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Mevacor (Lovastatin)
43%
11% vs. Pravachol (Pravastatin)
39%
5% vs. Pravachol (Pravastatin)
22%
3% vs. Pravachol (Pravastatin)
Side effects
PravastatinLovastatin
  • Upper respiratory infection 4%
  • Nausea/vomiting 4%
  • Decreased liver functiond 3%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Flu 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Sore throats 2%
  • Heart-related chest pain 2%
  • Inflammation inside the noses 2%
  • G-gt increased 2%
More Pravastatin side effects »
  • Constipation 2%
  • Passing gas 1%
  • Muscle weakness 1%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
More Lovastatin side effects »
How it works
PravastatinLovastatin
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).Mevacor (Lovastatin) 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
PravastatinLovastatin
Cholesterol-lowering
Statin
Prescription only
Cholesterol-lowering
Statin
Prescription only
Available as
PravastatinLovastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
PravastatinLovastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
PravastatinLovastatin
  • Kidney disease
  • High dose of Pravachol (Pravastatin)
  • Combining Pravachol (Pravastatin) with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Older age and female gender
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • History of chronic liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Breast feeding
  • Certain drugs can increase the dose of Pravachol (Pravastatin) in the body
    Detailed Pravachol (Pravastatin) risks & warnings »
    • Kidney disease
    • High dose of Mevacor (Lovastatin)
    • Combining with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs
    • Older age and female gender
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • History of chronic liver disease
    • Pregnancy
    • Breast feeding
    • Taking with certain drugs that increase the dose of Mevacor (Lovastatin) in the body
      Detailed Mevacor (Lovastatin) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      PravastatinLovastatin
      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
      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
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • There are reports of liver damage in people who take Pravachol (Pravastatin), especially if they are heavy alcohol drinkers or have a history of liver disease. If you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin, tell your doctor. Your doctor may also want to check your liver function periodically.
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • There are reports of liver damage in people who take Mevacor (Lovastatin), especially if they are heavy alcohol drinkers or have a history of liver disease. If you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin, tell your doctor. Your doctor may also want to check your liver function periodically.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.
      • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • There are rare cases of muscle damage leading to kidney failure in people taking Pravachol (Pravastatin). The risk is greater in people with kidney disease or thyroid disease, are older and female and taking certain cholesterol-lowering medication combinations. Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, weakness or fever and there is no known cause.
      • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis) and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
      • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • There are rare cases of muscle damage leading to kidney failure in people taking Mevacor (Lovastatin). The risk is greater in people with kidney disease or thyroid disease, are older and female and taking certain cholesterol-lowering medication combinations. Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, weakness or fever and there is no known cause.
      • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis) and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
      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
      PravastatinLovastatin
      • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides (fats) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
      • 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.
      • Can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, particularly if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or a history of smoking.
      Downsides and risks
      PravastatinLovastatin
      • Not the best choice for people who have very high cholesterol levels.
      • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
      • Not the best choice for people who have very high cholesterol levels.
      • Statins can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, and liver damage. Some people have to stop taking this medicine because of these problems.
      • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
      • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      PravastatinLovastatin
      • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
      • Most people reach their target cholesterol levels in 4 to 6 weeks.
      • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
      • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
      • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
      • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
      • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
      • Most people reach their target cholesterol levels in 4 to 6 weeks.
      • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
      • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
      • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
      Learn more
      More about PravastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about LovastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert