Compare Niaspan vs. Atorvastatin

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

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Niaspan (Niacin)

Prescription only

Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

Niaspan (Niacin) lowers triglycerides, but isn't as good as statins for improving cholesterol levels.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 380 reviewsforNiaspan
Lowers cholesterol.

Lipitor (atorvastatin) improves your cholesterol levels and is a common first treatment for people with high cholesterol or heart disease.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1377 reviewsforAtorvastatin
Upsides
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
  • 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.
Downsides
  • By itself, Niaspan (Niacin) isn't as effective as statins for improving cholesterol levels.
  • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
  • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
  • If you miss doses often, you may need to re-start taking the medicine more regularly at a lower dose.
  • 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).
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
380 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
31%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?

Leave a review
1377 reviews so far
63%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lipitor (atorvastatin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
6possible side effects
  • Flushing
    68%
  • Itching
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Cough increased
    3%
See more detailed side effects
12possible side effects
  • Common cold
    8%
  • Joint pain
    7%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Pain in the arms and legs
    6%
  • Urinary tract infection
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Nausea
    4%
  • Musculoskeletal pain
    4%
  • Muscle Spasms
    4%
  • Myalgia
    4%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Sore throat
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Muscle pain
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Past history of liver disease
  • High blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Low platelets
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with anticoagulants
  • Gout
    • Gout
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Muscle pain
  • Liver damage
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Prior history of chronic liver disease
  • Birth defects
    • Pregnancy
  • Stroke
    • History of hemorrhagic strokes
  • Increased blood sugars
See more detailed risks and warnings