Compare Zetia vs. Atorvastatin

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

Zetia
(Ezetimibe)

Lipitor
(Atorvastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. Zetia can improve your cholesterol, but it doesn't reduce heart attacks or heart disease, and it's expensive compared to other cholesterol-lowering medicines.Lowers cholesterol. Lipitor (Atorvastatin) is a good medication to improve your cholesterol. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.393700787401575Zetia
Reviews for Zetia (Ezetimibe)
42%
of people say Zetia (Ezetimibe) is worth it
34%
say it works well
20%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Lipitor (Atorvastatin)
63%
+21% vs. Zetia (Ezetimibe)
51%
+17% vs. Zetia (Ezetimibe)
13%
+7% vs. Zetia (Ezetimibe)
Side effects
ZetiaAtorvastatin
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Arthtralgia 1%
More Zetia side effects »
  • Diarrhea 8%
  • Common cold 5%
  • Muscle pain 5%
  • Joint pain 5%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Pain in extremity 3%
  • Urinary tract infection 2%
  • Sleep difficulty 2%
  • Muscle spasms 2%
  • Throat pain 2%
More Atorvastatin side effects »
How it works
ZetiaAtorvastatin
Zetia is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. It prevents cholesterol absorption in your intestines, lowers the amount of cholesterol stored in your liver, and helps your body process cholesterol.Lipitor (Atorvastatin) 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
ZetiaAtorvastatin
Cholesterol-lowering
Cholesterol inhibitor
Prescription only
Cholesterol-lowering
Statin
Prescription only
Available as
ZetiaAtorvastatin
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ZetiaAtorvastatin
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZetiaAtorvastatin
    • Taking Zetia (Ezetimibe) with statins
    • Past history of liver disease
    • Taking Zetia (Ezetimibe) with statins
    Detailed Zetia (Ezetimibe) risks & warnings »
      • Heavy alcohol use
      • Prior history of chronic liver disease
      • Pregnancy
          Detailed Lipitor (Atorvastatin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          ZetiaAtorvastatin
          CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          See the FDA package insert
          XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

          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.

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.
          • 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
          No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          • People on Zetia (Ezetimibe) while taking statins have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain or weakness or fever and you don't know why.
          • 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.
          • People on Lipitor (Atorvastatin) have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain or weakness or fever and you don't know why.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          ZetiaAtorvastatin
          • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
          • Can be used with other medicines to improve cholesterol.
          • Available in a combination pill with simvastatin.
          • 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.
          • One of the strongest cholesterol-lowering statin medications.
          • A good option for people who have high cholesterol and diabetes.
          Downsides and risks
          ZetiaAtorvastatin
          • Doesn't lower triglycerides (fats).
          • Hasn't been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks or heart disease.
          • By itself, Zetia is not as effective as statins for improving cholesterol.
          • There's no generic available, so it can be expensive.
          • 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.
          • Eating a lot of grapefruit can raise your risk of liver damage.
          • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          ZetiaAtorvastatin
          • Lowers bad cholesterol, and raises good cholesterol.
          • Tell your doctor if you develop bone or muscle pain.
          • Can be used with other medications to lower cholesterol.
          • May cause diarrhea or raise your chance of getting colds.
          • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
          • 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.
          Learn more
          More about ZetiaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about AtorvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert