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Atorvastatin and simvastatin are medications that treat high blood cholesterol and triglycerides. In general, both these medications lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increase good cholesterol in the process. The differences between these two treatments are the differences in the medications themselves. First, atorvastatin is a more potent medication than simvastatin, meaning taking a smaller dose of atorvastatin can be equal to taking a larger dose of simvastatin. Second, even though these medications perform the same treatment purposes, they interact differently with various other drugs, and either medication can potentially be unsuitable for a person depending on his overall health, since interferences between medications can lead to dangerous consequences.
In general, atorvastatin being a more potent medication than simvastatin means it is the stronger of the two when it comes to reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. The difference in potency indicates that, in general, those who take simvastatin might be able to receive further cholesterol treatment from atorvastatin if they need stronger medication for their condition. Of course, this also means that if a person requires a major reduction of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in his body, his initial treatment option might be atorvastatin and not simvastatin at all. Although atorvastatin and simvastatin differ in potency, treatment depends on a person’s specific condition and, as such, it is possible that one person’s dose of atorvastatin is the same potency as another person’s dose of simvastatin.
Sometimes, medications work differently when other drugs are present in the body. While some medications do not adversely affect the effectiveness of others, when they do interact negatively, it becomes a problem for the person taking the medication. For example, it can elevate the levels of the medication in the body and lead to dangerous medical conditions. Although atorvastatin and simvastatin are both in the same group of medications called statins, they differ when it comes to interacting with other drugs; in fact, statins can affect the function of other statins in the body. In addition to atorvastatin and simvastatin, other medications in the same group include fluvastatin, pravastatin and rosuvastatin.
Antidepressants, birth control pills, and blood pressure or heart medication are examples of drugs that can affect the way atorvastatin works. In addition, drugs that treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquire immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can also interact with the medication. Drugs that interfere with simvastatin include antifungal medications, blood thinners, and medications with niacin. Also, drugs that weaken the immune system do not go well with simvastatin either.