Compare simvastatin vs. pravastatin

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

simvastatin

pravastatin

Lowers cholesterol. Zocor (simvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol.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.
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 pravastatin
54%
+7% better vs. simvastatin
44%
+4% better vs. simvastatin
19%
+5% better vs. simvastatin
426 reviews
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
simvastatinpravastatin
  • Edema/swelling 1%
  • Headache 1%
  • Stomach problems 1%
  • Balance problems 1%
More simvastatin side effects »
  • Increased liver enzymes 1%
  • Rash 2%
  • Abdominal swelling 1%
  • Influenza 2%
  • Myalgia 2%
  • Bile duct disease 2%
  • Chest pain     2%
More pravastatin side effects »
How it works
simvastatinpravastatin
Zocor (simvastatin) is cholesterol-lowering medicine called a statin. It helps lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL).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).
Type of medication
simvastatinpravastatin
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
simvastatinpravastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
simvastatinpravastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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
  • An underactive thyroid
  • Over age 65
  • Female gender
  • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
Detailed Pravachol (pravastatin) 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
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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).
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Pain
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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).
  • 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).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about simvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about pravastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it