Compare simvastatin vs. Niaspan

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

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Zocor (simvastatin)

Prescription only

Niaspan (Niacin)

Prescription only
Lowers cholesterol.

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

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1176 reviewsforsimvastatin
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
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 raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
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).
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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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
380 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
31%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Niaspan (Niacin)?

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
6possible side effects
  • Flushing
    68%
  • Itching
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Cough increased
    3%
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
    • 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