Compare Pravastatin vs. Niaspan

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

Pravachol
(Pravastatin)

Niaspan
(Niacin)

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. niacin is good for lowering triglycerides (fats), but it's not as good as statins for improving cholesterol.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.76Pravastatin
Reviews for Pravachol (Pravastatin)
54%
of people (All ages) say Pravachol (Pravastatin) is worth it
44%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
425 reviews
Have you used Pravachol (Pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Niaspan (Niacin)
43%
11% vs. Pravachol (Pravastatin)
31%
13% vs. Pravachol (Pravastatin)
19%
Same vs. Pravachol (Pravastatin)
380 reviews
Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PravastatinNiaspan
  • 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 »
  • Flushing 50%
  • Itching 6%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Cough increased 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
More Niaspan side effects »
How it works
PravastatinNiaspan
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).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.
Type of medication
PravastatinNiaspan
Cholesterol-lowering
Statin
Prescription only
Cholesterol-lowering
Nicotinic acid
Prescription only
Available as
PravastatinNiaspan
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
PravastatinNiaspan
Risk factors for serious side effects
PravastatinNiaspan
  • 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 »
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Past history of liver disease
    • Diabetes
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants
    Detailed Niaspan (Niacin) 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 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.

    Interactions
    PravastatinNiaspan
    • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
    No interactions related info.
    Alcohol
    PravastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
    Food
    PravastatinNiaspan
    No food related info.
    • 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.
    Kidneys and liver
    PravastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Pain
    PravastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • Can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
    Upsides and benefits
    PravastatinNiaspan
    • 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 raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
    • Lowers the risk of a second heart attack.
    • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
    Downsides and risks
    PravastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    PravastatinNiaspan
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Call your doctor if you develop muscle pain.
    • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
    Learn more
    More about PravastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Pravachol (Pravastatin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about NiaspanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it