Compare simvastatin vs. Lovastatin

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

Zocor
(simvastatin)

Mevacor
(lovastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. Zocor (simvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol.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
5.13simvastatin
Reviews for simvastatin
61%
of people (All ages) say simvastatin is worth it
48%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle
1176 reviews
Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lovastatin
43%
+18% better vs. simvastatin
39%
+9% better vs. simvastatin
22%
+8% better vs. simvastatin
Have you used Mevacor (lovastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
simvastatinLovastatin
  • Bronchitis 1%
  • Atrial fibrillation 1%
  • Eczema 2%
  • Stomach problems 1%
  • Balance problems 1%
  • Headache 1%
More simvastatin side effects »
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Myalgia 1%
  • Asthenia 1%
  • Elevations of CK levels 11%
More Lovastatin side effects »
How it works
simvastatinLovastatin
Zocor (simvastatin) is cholesterol-lowering medicine called a statin. It 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
simvastatinLovastatin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
simvastatinLovastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
simvastatinLovastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
simvastatinLovastatin
  • Kidney disease
  • High dose of Zocor (simvastatin)
  • Combining Zocor (simvastatin) with other cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Older age
  • Female gender
Detailed Zocor (simvastatin) 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.

Interactions
simvastatinLovastatin
  • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking.
  • Can have more drug interactions than some other drugs in the same class (statins).
  • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Alcohol
simvastatinLovastatin
  • You are at higher risk for side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • 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
simvastatinLovastatin
No food related info.
  • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
Kidneys and liver
simvastatinLovastatin
  • People on Zocor (simvastatin) have reported muscle pain, which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This is more likely to happen if you take higher doses of Zocor (simvastatin). If you suddenly feel muscle pain, weakness or fever and you haven't been exercising, stop taking Zocor (simvastatin) and talk to your doctor right away.
  • There are reports of liver damage in people who take Zocor (simvastatin), 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 regularly.
  • 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
simvastatinLovastatin
  • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain, muscle damage, and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
  • 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
simvastatinLovastatin
  • 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.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in combination pills with other cholesterol medicines.
  • 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
simvastatinLovastatin
  • You are at higher risk for side effects if you are female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Can have more drug interactions than some other drugs in the same class (statins).
  • 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
simvastatinLovastatin
  • 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 about the medicines you are taking.
  • 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 simvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LovastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Mevacor (lovastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it