Compare Simvastatin vs. pravastatin

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

Zocor
(simvastatin)

Pravachol
(pravastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. Zocor (Simvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.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.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Coupons for Simvastatin
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of simvastatin
Coupons for pravastatin
Best available price for 30 (40mg) tablets of pravastatin
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.13Simvastatin
Reviews for Zocor (simvastatin)
61%
of people (All ages) say Zocor (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 Pravachol (pravastatin)
54%
-7% worse vs. Zocor (simvastatin)
44%
-4% worse vs. Zocor (simvastatin)
19%
-5% worse vs. Zocor (simvastatin)
426 reviews
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Simvastatinpravastatin
  • Upper respiratory infections 9%
  • Abdominal pain 7%
  • Constipation 7%
  • Headache 7%
  • Bronchitis 1%
  • Abnormal heart rhythm 1%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Scaly, itchy rash 2%
  • Upset stomach 3%
  • Vertigo 1%
More Simvastatin side effects »
  • Upper respiratory infection 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Headache 2%
  • Chest pain 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Rash 2%
  • Muscle pain 2%
More pravastatin side effects »
How it works
Simvastatinpravastatin
Zocor (Simvastatin) 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).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 only
Prescription only
Available as
Simvastatinpravastatin
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
Used for
Simvastatinpravastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Simvastatinpravastatin
  • Kidney disease
  • High dose of Zocor (Simvastatin)
  • Combining Zocor (Simvastatin) with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Older age and female gender
  • Heavy alcohol use
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.

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.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
Simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
Simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • There are rare cases of muscle damage leading to kidney failure in people taking Zocor (Simvastatin). 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 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 periodically.
  • 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 (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis) and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
Simvastatinpravastatin
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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