Compare simvastatin vs. pravastatin

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

Zocor (simvastatin)

Prescription only

Pravachol (pravastatin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

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

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1176 reviewsforsimvastatin
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.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 426 reviewsforpravastatin
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.
  • 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
  • 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).
Used for
Dosage forms
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Price
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Reviews
1176 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?

Leave a review
426 reviews so far
54%
saidit'sworth it
44%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Zocor (simvastatin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
20possible side effects
  • Muscle, joint or ligament/tendon pain    
    10%
  • Nausea, vomiting    
    7%
  • Diarrhea    
    7%
  • Headache    
    6%
  • Upper respiratory infection    
    6%
  • Chest pain    
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Stuffy nose
    4%
  • Muscle damage
    4%
  • Flatulence    
    3%
  • Indigestion, heartburn    
    3%
  • Fatigue    
    3%
  • Cough
    3%
  • Increased liver enzymes
    3%
  • Abdominal swelling
    2%
  • Influenza
    2%
  • Muscle pain
    2%
  • Sore throat
    2%
  • Bile duct disease
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Muscle pain and kidney damage
    • Kidney disease
    • High dose of Zocor (simvastatin)
    • Combining Zocor (simvastatin) with other cholesterol-lowering drugs
    • Older age
    • Female gender
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • History of chronic liver disease
  • Harm to unborn baby
    • Pregnancy
    • Breast feeding
  • 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 damage
    • Kidney disease
    • An underactive thyroid
    • Over age 65
    • Female gender
    • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • History of chronic liver disease
  • Harm to fetus
    • Pregnancy
    • Breast feeding
  • Endocrine function
    • Spironolactone use
    • Cimetidine use
    • Ketoconazole use
See more detailed risks and warnings