Does anyone have an opinion as to which they would consider more potent (in terms of side-effects, danger, etc), Crestor 5 mg or Zocor 20 mg? I am taking Vytorin 10/20 but I thought it would be fairest to compare the statins side-by-side.
Personally, I'd never take Crestor unless I'd tried fairly high doses of Zocor and Lipitor first. My understanding is that while the side effects of all three are similar, those taking Crestor have the side effects more frequently. The reason some studies show Crestor does a better job of lowering cholesterol is because it is more potent.
In general, for all meds, the higher the dose, the higher the risk of side effects. In other words, someone taking 40 mg Zocor is more likely to experience side effects than someone taking 20 mg Zocor.
But you can't compare dosages directly between two different meds, i.e. 20 mg Zocor is not the same as 20 mg Crestor. 20 mg Zocor being equivalent to 5 mg Crestor sounds about right to me.
Last edited by Connie122516; 01-02-2007 at 03:16 PM.
The Consumer Reports booklet you have on your website is very good; thanks for letting us know about it. I agree that anyone taking a statin, or thinking about taking a statin, should read it.
I do not interpret their recommendations on Lipitor as having anything to do with safety or effectiveness; they make several statements confirming its safety and effectiveness consistent with what I already know about the studies that have been done. Their recommendations are very reasonable overall, but they put a lot of emphasis on cost factors, which is important but may not be the most important depending upon a person's health condition and financial circumstances.
Lipitor costs more because it does not have a generic (yet). If it worked as well for me as Lipitor, I'd still be taking simvastatin myself. (I actually have fewer side effects with Lipitor...Zocor/simvastatin made me constipated, Lipitor does not). It looks to me like they picked two years mostly out of the air...note they say it assumes you have changed lifestyle issues and have switched to simvastatin.
Note also they do not recommend Crestor for any group of people, presumably because of cost, lack of "proof" that it prevents heart attacks while other statins already have this "proof," and potential safety issues.
Two months ago at the pharmacist I asked how much of a bargain WAS the simvastatin. I was amazed that it was less than 10% discounted from the cost of the Zocor...like $105 vs. $115. Amazingly the Lipitor in all strengths was just under $100.
The generic simvastatin thus was more expensive than the branded Lipitor.
I asked the pharmacist if that wasn't strange and she said that often it takes many months for the price difference to widen.
When it does, I will probably opt for the cheaper alternative but I have lots of Lipitor stockpiled and partner has lots of simvastatin...we've both been splitting pills for a long while!
The chain pharmacys tend to make their biggest profits off generics and thus, sometimes, the price is not a "bargain". You might try some of the large big box discounters instead of pharmacy chains for better pricing.