Compare pravastatin vs. Lovastatin

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

pravastatin

lovastatin

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.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.76pravastatin
Reviews for pravastatin
54%
of people (All ages) say pravastatin is worth it
44%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
426 reviews
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lovastatin
43%
+11% better vs. pravastatin
39%
+5% better vs. pravastatin
22%
+3% better vs. pravastatin
Have you used Mevacor (Lovastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
pravastatinLovastatin
  • Increased liver enzymes 1%
  • Rash 2%
  • Abdominal swelling 1%
  • Influenza 2%
  • Myalgia 2%
  • Bile duct disease 2%
  • Chest pain     2%
More pravastatin side effects »
  • Asthenia 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Myalgia 1%
  • Increase in serum transaminases 2%
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
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
pravastatinLovastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
pravastatinLovastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
pravastatinLovastatin
  • Kidney disease
  • An underactive thyroid
  • Over age 65
  • Female gender
  • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
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
Detailed Mevacor (Lovastatin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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
pravastatinLovastatin
No interactions related info.
  • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Alcohol
pravastatinLovastatin
No alcohol related info.
  • 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.
Food
pravastatinLovastatin
No food related info.
  • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
Kidneys and liver
pravastatinLovastatin
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Pain
pravastatinLovastatin
No pain related info.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
pravastatinLovastatin
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
  • Most people reach their target cholesterol levels in 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
  • 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
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LovastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Mevacor (Lovastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it