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. It does cause fewer side effects and is safer for your kidneys and liver.Lowers cholesterol. Niaspan (Niacin) lowers triglycerides, but isn't as good as statins for improving cholesterol levels.
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Coupons for pravastatin
Best available price for 30 (40mg) tablets of pravastatin
Coupons for Niaspan
Best available price for 30 (500mg) tablets of niaspan
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 Niaspan
43%
+11% better vs. pravastatin
31%
+13% better vs. pravastatin
19%
Same vs. pravastatin
380 reviews
Have you used Niaspan (niacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
pravastatinNiaspan
  • Upper respiratory infection 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Headache 2%
  • Chest pain 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Rash 2%
  • Muscle pain 2%
More pravastatin side effects »
  • Flushing 49%
  • Itching 6%
  • Rash 5%
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).Niaspan (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.
Type of medication
pravastatinNiaspan
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
pravastatinNiaspan
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
pravastatinNiaspan
Risk factors for serious side effects
pravastatinNiaspan
  • Kidney disease
  • An underactive thyroid
  • Over age 65
  • Female gender
  • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
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
No interactions related info.
  • Niaspan (Niacin) can interact with blood thinners and make you more likely to bleed. Your doctor may have you do regular blood tests and change your medication doses.
Alcohol
pravastatinNiaspan
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
Food
pravastatinNiaspan
No food related info.
  • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
Kidneys and liver
pravastatinNiaspan
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
pravastatinNiaspan
No pain related info.
  • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
Upsides and benefits
pravastatinNiaspan
  • 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 raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
Downsides and risks
pravastatinNiaspan
  • 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).
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
  • Take Niaspan (Niacin) at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
  • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
  • Can cause make your skin feel hot and change color. Your doctor may tell you to take an aspirin 30 minutes before you take Niaspan (Niacin) to reduce the flushing.
  • Call your doctor if you feel unexplained muscle pain.
  • Niaspan (Niacin) works differently from other medicines you can buy over-the-counter. Don't switch it with other medicines unless your doctor agrees.
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