Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Cardiovascular

Lipitor Alternatives

(atorvastatin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Cardiovascular
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Compare Lipitor (atorvastatin) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Lipitor (atorvastatin) or used for similar purposes.

Lipitor
(atorvastatin)

Crestor
(rosuvastatin)

Mevacor
(lovastatin)

Zocor
(simvastatin)

Pravachol
(pravastatin)

Zetia
(ezetimibe)

Vytorin
(ezetimibe / simvastatin)

Lowers cholesterol. Lipitor (atorvastatin) improves your cholesterol levels and is a common first treatment for people with high cholesterol or heart disease.Lowers cholesterol. Crestor (rosuvastatin) is one of the most effective statins to improve cholesterol. It's also available as a generic.Lowers cholesterol. Mevacor (Lovastatin) can improve cholesterol, but it's not as strong as other statin medicines. Statin side effects can be difficult to deal with, but the benefits might outweigh the risks.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.Lowers cholesterol. Zetia (ezetimibe) can improve your cholesterol and can be used as an alternative to statins.Lowers cholesterol. Vytorin is expensive and is no more effective than simvastatin by itself.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.16Atorvastatin
Reviews for Atorvastatin
63%
of people (All ages) say Atorvastatin is worth it
51%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
1377 reviews
Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Crestor
60%
+3% better vs. Atorvastatin
47%
+4% better vs. Atorvastatin
15%
+2% better vs. Atorvastatin
751 reviews
Have you used Crestor (rosuvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lovastatin
43%
+20% better vs. Atorvastatin
39%
+12% better vs. Atorvastatin
22%
+9% better vs. Atorvastatin
Have you used Mevacor (lovastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for simvastatin
61%
+2% better vs. Atorvastatin
48%
+3% better vs. Atorvastatin
14%
+1% better vs. Atorvastatin
1176 reviews
Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for pravastatin
54%
+9% better vs. Atorvastatin
44%
+7% better vs. Atorvastatin
19%
+6% better vs. Atorvastatin
426 reviews
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zetia
42%
+21% better vs. Atorvastatin
34%
+17% better vs. Atorvastatin
21%
+8% better vs. Atorvastatin
128 reviews
Have you used Zetia (ezetimibe)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Vytorin
53%
+10% better vs. Atorvastatin
36%
+15% better vs. Atorvastatin
19%
+6% better vs. Atorvastatin
Have you used Vytorin (ezetimibe / simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Muscle Spasms 1%
  • Myalgia 1%
More Atorvastatin side effects »
  • Headache 1%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Muscle pain 2%
  • Joint pain 1%
  • Diabetes mellitus 1%
  • Dizziness 1%
More Crestor side effects »
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Myalgia 1%
  • Asthenia 1%
  • Elevations of CK levels 11%
More Lovastatin side effects »
  • Bronchitis 1%
  • Atrial fibrillation 1%
  • Eczema 2%
  • Stomach problems 1%
  • Balance problems 1%
  • Headache 1%
More simvastatin side effects »
  • Upper respiratory infection     4%
  • Diarrhea     3%
  • Headache     2%
  • Chest pain     2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Rash 2%
  • Myalgia 2%
More pravastatin side effects »
  • Common cold 1%
  • Sore throat 4%
  • Sinus infection 1%
  • Abnormal liver tests 3%
  • Joint pain 1%
  • Pain in arms and legs 1%
  • Muscle pain 3%
More Zetia side effects »
  • Headache 1%
  • Any side effect 3%
  • Myalgia 4%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection 4%
  • Increased ALT 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Influenza 1%
  • Pain in extremity 1%
  • Unexplained muscle pain or weakness 1%
More Vytorin side effects »
How it works
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a 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).Crestor (rosuvastatin) is a statin medication that changes the amount of cholesterol your body makes. It lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and improves your "good" cholesterol (HDL) levels.Mevacor (Lovastatin) 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).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).Zetia (ezetimibe) is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. It stops your body from absorbing cholesterol in food and helps process other forms of cholesterol.Vytorin is a combination cholesterol-lowering medicine. Simvastatin prevents your body from making "bad" cholesterol (LDL) while raising "good" cholesterol (HDL). Ezetimibe prevents cholesterol absorption in your intestines.
Type of medication
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Prior history of chronic liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • History of hemorrhagic strokes
Detailed Lipitor (atorvastatin) risks & warnings »
  • Taking Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Age 65 or older
  • Taking higher doses of Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Diabetes
  • Heavy alcohol use
Detailed Crestor (rosuvastatin) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney disease
  • High dose of Mevacor (Lovastatin)
  • Combining with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Older age and female gender
  • Heavy alcohol use
Detailed Mevacor (lovastatin) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
  • Taking Zetia (ezetimibe) with statins
  • Past history of liver disease
Detailed Zetia (ezetimibe) risks & warnings »
  • Asian patients taking high-dose niacin
  • Past history of liver disease
  • heavy alcohol use
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
Detailed Vytorin (ezetimibe / simvastatin) 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.

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.

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.

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
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
  • Certain medications can interact with this drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • 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.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
Alcohol
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are a female, are 65 years or older, or drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Don't have more than 2 glasses of alcohol a day since Crestor (rosuvastatin) can cause liver damage.
  • You're more likely to have side effects if you're a female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, or take more than one medicine for cholesterol.
  • 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.
  • 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.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
Food
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
No food related info.No food related info.
  • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • People on Lipitor (atorvastatin) have reported muscle pain, which may lead to muscle and kidney damage. This is more likely to happen if you're older and you're taking higher doses of Lipitor (atorvastatin). If you suddenly feel muscle pain or weakness and you haven't been exercising, stop taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) and talk to your doctor right away.
  • Liver damage has been reported in people who take Lipitor (atorvastatin). If you notice dark urine or yellowing of your eyes or skin, talk to your doctor. Your doctor might run blood tests to check your liver.
  • Statins such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, or liver damage. Some people need to stop taking this medicine if these problems occur.
  • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can raise your risk of liver damage while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin).
  • People on Crestor (rosuvastatin) have reported muscle pain which can lead to muscle or kidney damage. This is more likely to happen if you're older and if you're taking higher doses of Crestor (rosuvastatin). If you suddenly feel severe muscle pain or weakness and you haven't been exercising, stop taking Crestor (rosuvastatin) and talk to your doctor right away.
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin) can cause liver damage. If your urine is darker than normal or if you notice a yellow color in your eyes or skin, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may run some tests to see how your liver is working.
  • People with liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes are also more likely to have side effects from Crestor (rosuvastatin).
  • There are rare cases of muscle damage leading to kidney failure in people taking Mevacor (Lovastatin). 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 Mevacor (Lovastatin), 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Zetia (ezetimibe) can hurt your liver, especially if it is used with statins. Talk to your doctor if you have liver disease.
  • People on Vytorin (Ezetimibe / Simvastatin) have reported muscle pain which may lead to muscle breakdown and kidney damage, especially in people of Asian ancestry who are also taking niacin. This has been very rare. Talk to your doctor if you suddenly develop muscle pain and a fever and you don't know why.
Pain
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • Tell your doctor if you suddenly feel severe muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Call your doctor if you have sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin) isn't safe to use if you're pregnant since it can hurt the fetus.
  • 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.
  • 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.No pain related info.No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides (fats), and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin) can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, particularly if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or a history of smoking.
  • It's one of the strongest cholesterol-lowering statin medications.
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a good option for people who have high cholesterol and diabetes.
  • It's available as a generic drug and can be used in combination with other cholesterol lowering drugs.
  • It's a good first choice medicine for lowering cholesterol levels when diet and exercise aren't enough.
  • Slows down the buildup of fatty deposits in your blood vessels, otherwise known as a hardening of the arteries.
  • In clinical studies, Crestor (rosuvastatin) has the strongest effect on lowering "bad" cholesterol compared to other statins.
  • Can lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, particularly if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, or a history of smoking.
  • Available as a generic drug.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Available as a generic.
  • A 2-in-1 cholesterol-lowering combination medicine.
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
Downsides and risks
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • Statins such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) can cause digestive problems, blood sugar problems, muscle aches and stiffness, muscle injury, kidney damage, or liver damage. Some people need to stop taking this medicine if these problems occur.
  • You're at higher risk for these side effects if you are a female, are 65 years or older, or drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day, take more than one medicine for cholesterol, or have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can raise your risk of liver damage while taking Lipitor (atorvastatin).
  • You're more likely to have side effects if you're a female, are 65 years or older, drink alcohol every day, or take more than one medicine for cholesterol.
  • People with liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes are also more likely to have side effects from Crestor (rosuvastatin).
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin) isn't safe to use if you're pregnant since it can hurt the fetus.
  • Not the best choice for people who have very high cholesterol levels.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Doesn't lower triglycerides (fats).
  • Hasn't been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks or heart disease.
  • By itself, it isn't as effective as statins for improving cholesterol.
  • In clinical studies, simvastatin/ezetimibe hasn't controlled cholesterol better than simvastatin alone.
  • There's no generic available, so it can be expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtorvastatinCrestorLovastatinsimvastatinpravastatinZetiaVytorin
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
  • Don't eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you suddenly feel severe muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Also tell your doctor if you have dark urine or if you notice a yellow tint in your eyes or skin.
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin) isn't safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol levels.
  • Don't have more than 2 glasses of alcohol a day since Crestor (rosuvastatin) can cause liver damage.
  • Don't take antacids for at least 2 hours before and after taking Crestor (rosuvastatin).
  • Call your doctor if you have sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Let your doctor know if you have dark urine or a yellow color in your eyes or skin.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises good cholesterol.
  • Most people reach their target cholesterol levels in 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Works best if you take it once a day after your evening meal.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Good alternative to statins if you can't tolerate statins or are unable to control cholesterol with statins alone.
  • Can cause diarrhea or increase your chance of getting colds.
  • Take it in the evening.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Can cause headaches or diarrhea.
  • Call your doctor if you develop muscle pain.
  • Also taking Welchol or Questran? Take this medicine at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after.
Learn more
More about AtorvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CrestorSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Crestor (rosuvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LovastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Mevacor (lovastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about simvastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Zocor (simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about pravastatinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Pravachol (pravastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZetiaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Zetia (ezetimibe)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about VytorinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Vytorin (ezetimibe / simvastatin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it