Compare simvastatin vs. Niaspan

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

Zocor (simvastatin)

Prescription only

Niaspan (Niacin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

Zocor (simvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 1176 reviewsforsimvastatin
Lowers cholesterol.

Niaspan (Niacin) lowers triglycerides, but isn't as good as statins for improving cholesterol levels.

4.2/ 7 average rating with 380 reviewsforNiaspan
Upsides
  • 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 raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
Downsides
  • 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).
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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$4
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$67.88
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Reviews
1176 
61%
think this treatment is worth it
48%
think this treatment works well
14%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?

Leave a review
380 
43%
think this treatment is worth it
31%
think this treatment works well
19%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Zocor (simvastatin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
6possible side effects
  • Flushing
    68%
  • Itching
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Cough increased
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Muscle pain and kidney damage

    Kidney disease

    ...and 4 more risk factors

  • Liver damage

    Heavy alcohol use

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Harm to unborn baby

    Pregnancy

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Drug interactions

    Certain drugs can increase the dose of Zocor (simvastatin) in the body

  • High blood sugar

    History of high blood sugar

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Muscle pain

    Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins

  • Liver damage

    Heavy alcohol use

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • High blood sugar

    Diabetes

  • Low platelets

    Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants

  • Gout

    Gout

See more detailed risks and warnings