Compare simvastatin vs. Atorvastatin

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

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Zocor (simvastatin)

Prescription only

Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

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

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1176 reviewsforsimvastatin
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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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).
  • 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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Dosage forms
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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
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
14possible side effects
  • Bronchitis
    7%
  • Abdominal pain
    6%
  • Atrial fibrillation
    6%
  • Stomach problems
    5%
  • Balance problems
    5%
  • Eczema
    5%
  • Diabetes
    4%
  • Muscle pain
    4%
  • Insomnia
    4%
  • Edema/swelling
    3%
  • Headache
    3%
  • Infection, urinary tract
    3%
  • Constipation
    2%
  • Sinus infection
    2%
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 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 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