How I Found a Cheaper Substitute Prescription to Replace Advicor

Updated on April 18, 2020
john000 profile image

When my physician prescribed Advicor, I was pretty happy with the results. There was only one problem: the cost.

A 20mg lovastatin generic tablet and a 500 mg niacin capsule
A 20mg lovastatin generic tablet and a 500 mg niacin capsule | Source

Meds and Frugal Living

Advicor: Could There be a Less Expensive Alternative?

Years ago, I had a problem many of us experience. My blood work showed that I had too high of a bad cholesterol count and too low of a good cholesterol count. My physician tried several anti-cholesterol drugs, which I did not respond well to—they didn't do the job with each cholesterol.

The physician decided to prescribe Advicor. The drug improved both of my blood levels of cholesterol, and I was pretty happy with the results. There was only one problem. Advicor is a brand name drug and it had a copay of $40 with the insurance I had. Now that doesn't sound too bad, and in reality, if it is the only thing that will work for you, then it is money well spent. However, after reading about the drug on the internet, I discovered something interesting. Different strengths of Advicor are made of lovastatin and niacin.

ADVICOR 500 mg/20 mg — Iron Oxide Yellow, Iron Oxide Red.
ADVICOR 750 mg/20 mg — FD&C Yellow #6/Sunset Yellow FCF Aluminum Lake.
ADVICOR 1000 mg/20 mg — Iron Oxide Red, Iron Oxide Yellow, Iron Oxide Black.
ADVICOR 1000 mg/40 mg — Iron Oxide Red.

Advicor is made up of two drugs. It contains lovastatin, which lowers bad cholesterol, and flush-free niacin, which raises good cholesterol. I decided to discuss the drug with my pharmacist, who works at a large chain drugstore and has been very helpful to me in the past.

My pharmacist verified that the two drugs were what made up Advicor. So I decided to go to the doctor and see if I could be prescribed lovastatin (it costs only $4 for a month's supply) and niacin (60-count 500 mg over the counter flush free niacin) costing $6.00. Of course, how much you spend depends on dosing.

The doctor agreed to prescribe the medicine as I requested, first starting with one 20mg tablet of lovastatin and one 500 mg capsule of niacin. As you can see, my doctor prescribed the lowest dosage of Advicor. After one month, I went to a lab to have my levels checked. It turned out that the levels recommended had not yet been attained. So my doctor prescribed two tablets of lovastatin and 1000mg of flush free niacin. That corresponded to the highest dose of Advicor. One month later I had my levels checked and with great results. My bad cholesterol had dropped from 265 to 164, and my good cholesterol had risen to within 1 pt of the recommended level.

For those of you interested in the lab procedure, you will have to have your levels determined whether you use Advicor or lovastatin and flush free niacin. But the cost was what grabbed my attention. You probably have figured it out already, but the 60 count flush free niacin bottle lasts me one month ($6) and the lovastatin costs me $8. My particular insurance had a copay of $40 for the name brand Advicor. Now I was able to leave the pharmacy with a bill of $14. That is a $26 dollar savings!

As with any medical decision, you should talk to your physician and see if he/she agrees with what I am doing for such good results. Taking 4 pills a day instead of one is not a problem for me. But on a fixed income, $26 a month in savings is very helpful. If you are lucky enough to have insurance with lower copays, you might not save that much, but there are plenty of folks out there who might benefit from the lower cost! Again, you must determine the amount of lovastatin and niacin in consultation with your physician.

A Duexis pill containing 800 mg of ibuprofen and 26.6 mig of famatodine.
A Duexis pill containing 800 mg of ibuprofen and 26.6 mig of famatodine.

In the Same Vein

By coincidence, I recently found another drug when I hurt my lower back whose components can be obtained at a steep discount. Kneeling in the backyard and stretching to pull weeds and gather tree droppings, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my back. I had no idea that I had done anything that would strain my back, but it sure did hurt. After carefully ambling my way into the house, I made an appointment to see a doctor.

At urgent care the physician evaluated me and prescribed Duexis. Duexis contains ibuprofen and famotidine. Each tablet contains for adults 800 mg of ibuprofen. The highest prescription dosage is 3200 mg per day (4 times a day). Each tablet also contains 26.6 mg of famotidine, an antacid. The drug in its combination is for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It contains an NSAID, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Famotidine helps reduce the chance of a gastrointestinal upset and ulcer.

After consulting the urgent care physician, I made an appointment with my primary care physician. The urgent care doctor had given me several packets of Duexis samples, which were greatly appreciated. When I went back to the same clinic, I found out that Duexis would cost me $40 for a 30 day prescription. Then I went to see the primary care doctor.

My primary was a bit confused. She prescribed 800 mg tablets of ibuprofen for one month which cost me $4.00. She also handed me antacid tablets which she indicated would be just as helpful. Those were free, thankfully. The one item doctor's get from drug companies as samples in the largest quantities are antacid pills of various types. Modern life apparently stresses patients universally to the point of needing help reducing acid stomach.

If one wants to take ibuprofen with famotidine, there are 29 labels of famotidine I have found by Google search. Among them are brand names like Pepsid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid AC Maximum Stength, Pepsid RPD, and Mylanta AR. Most of these are generic over-the-counter drugs that are reasonably priced. Since all of these drugs can be purchased at the drug store, consult your physician about dosage.

So, if you are somehow prescribed Duexis, let your physician know that it is merely ibuprofen in a tablet with famatodine. This can save you quite a bit of money. You could walk away with a $4.00 purchase, depending on your health insurance, or perhaps as high as $8.00 for the ibuprofen and $8.00 for over-the-counter Pepcid. That is a $24 savings over what I might have paid. These prices were as of 9/25/2017. And it bears saying again, with variations in generic dosage, discuss with your doctor the proper dosage. Knowing the different strengths of over-the-counter famatodine generics will help your doctor.


Know More, Be Sure,, reviewed last July 31, 2017, Horizon Pharma USA, January 2017

Know More, Be Sure,, copyright 1996-2017, Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 13.01, Revision date 8/11/2014

WebMD,, 2005-2017, WebMD, LLC.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2010 John R Wilsdon


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • john000 profile imageAUTHOR

      John R Wilsdon 

      9 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      linda32 thanks for the comment. Drug companies and insurance companies have a lot of power. In that sense they are hard nuts to crack. But lowering drug costs is actually something that should be easy as evidenced by prices of drugs outside the U.S. and revelations in lots of documents. Perhaps competition with international pharmaceutical companies within our country is a good start. Let that free market work. Give people a choice.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      To cut the costs of prescription medications is a bit difficult, because it depends on:

      - manufacturing company

      - covering insurance

      - own pocket.

      The first too have difficulties in reaching low costs although the highest needs of the third one.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Soundslike a smart idea. I use the niacia- Niaspan, shichis flush free 750 and it works well do not yet need the Lovostatin,but I am always looking for a way to reduce the costs of prescription medications.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)