Simvastatin, also referred to as Zocor, and Lipitor, known as Atorvastatin, are both medications that are used to treat and maintain high cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol in the body are a very serious condition that can lead to hardening of the arteries and heart damage. This can also lead to serious health problems, including stroke, heart attack and vascular disease. These two drugs are very similar, which can make it hard to determine which brand will work best for you. Below is some critical information that will show you the similarities and the differences of these drugs. This will help you make a better informed decision about your drug choice.
Simvastatin and Lipitor Dosage Requirements
Lipitor is much more potent than Simvastatin; therefore, you will be required to take a lower daily dosage of this drug. While exact dosage can be different for each person, the average adult will take between 10mg and 20mg of Lipitor per day, compared to 20mg to 40mg of Simvastatin. The children’s version is modified and is the same for both drugs, at 10 mg per day. Some patients find that Simvastatin is not powerful enough for them even at the daily maximum level. Oftentimes, these patients transfer over to start using Lipitor.
Simvastatin and Lipitor Side Effects
Each of these drugs has their own set of side effects that may be experienced with the use of the drug. The side effects for Lipitor include joint and muscle pain, back pain, sinus infections, sore throat, unexplained rash, diarrhea, and various infections. The side effects for Simvastatin include abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, fatigue, digestive problems, muscle pain and headaches.
Effectiveness of Simvastatin and Lipitor
A recent study was performed by researchers at the University of Maryland to determine if Lipitor or Simvastatin were more effective at treating high cholesterol. The findings of this study were revealed at the American Heart Association annual conference. It revealed that patients who take Lipitor were 14 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. This is a significant difference that has led some doctors across the country to only recommend Lipitor.
Determining which drug for high cholesterol is right for you can be difficult. It is important to note that Simvastatin is available in generic version whereas Lipitor is only available in a brand name version. This makes Lipitor more expensive to use than Simvastatin. You may also need to consider potential drug interactions with each of the medications. The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor about your condition and which drug option is would be right for you.