Compare Altace vs. Benicar

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

Altace
(ramipril)

Benicar
(olmesartan)

Lowers blood pressure. Altace (ramipril) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects your kidney function. It's also a good option if you have trouble swallowing pills since you can open the capsules.Lowers blood pressure. Benicar (olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects your kidneys, but with fewer side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Altace (ramipril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Benicar
65%
-15% worse vs. Altace
63%
-21% worse vs. Altace
12%
-21% worse vs. Altace
118 reviews
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AltaceBenicar
  • Low blood pressure 6%
  • Increased cough 4%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Chest pain 1%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Low blood pressure when standing up 1%
  • Fainting 1%
  • Vomiting 1%
  • Vertigo 1%
More Altace side effects »
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar side effects »
How it works
AltaceBenicar
Altace (ramipril) is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It blocks a chemical that usually tightens blood vessels. By making blood vessels relax, it lowers blood pressure and allows more blood and oxygen to get to your heart and other organs.Benicar (olmesartan) is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). It lowers blood pressure by blocking a chemical that tightens the blood vessels. This allows more blood and oxygen to get to your heart and other organs.
Type of medication
AltaceBenicar
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AltaceBenicar
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
AltaceBenicar
Risk factors for serious side effects
AltaceBenicar
  • Women of childbearing age
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicines that increase potassium
  • Using salt substitutes
Detailed Altace (ramipril) risks & warnings »
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of kidney problems
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Using medicines that increase potassium
Detailed Benicar (olmesartan) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Kidneys and liver
AltaceBenicar
  • Requires routine blood tests to check how your kidneys are working.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
  • Benicar (olmesartan) can hurt your kidneys. If you already have some degree of kidney damage, Benicar (olmesartan) could make it worse. It's important to get blood work done to check your kidney function before starting Benicar (olmesartan) and at least once a year while you're still taking it.
  • Requires regular blood tests to check kidney function.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
Weight
AltaceBenicar
No weight related info.
  • Benicar (olmesartan) has been reported to cause severe diarrhea and weight loss unexplained by other causes. Stay hydrated and notify your doctor if you continue to have more than 3-4 loose stools a day.
Upsides and benefits
AltaceBenicar
  • Altace (ramipril) is a first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • It lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
  • It's recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
  • Altace (ramipril) is the only ACE inhibitor that you can open and sprinkle in applesauce or water.
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Similar to ACE inhibitors (like lisinopril), with fewer side effects like cough and swelling.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
  • Available by itself and in combination with different blood pressure medicines in a single pill.
Downsides and risks
AltaceBenicar
  • Some people can get a dry cough while using this medicine. It ranges from a mild tickle in the throat to a persistent hacking cough.
  • You'll need to get routine blood tests to see how this medicine is affecting your body.
  • Women, be sure to use contraception while taking this medication since it can harm a fetus. It's also not safe to use if you're already pregnant.
  • Requires regular blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Recently became a generic, though still relatively expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AltaceBenicar
  • Altace (ramipril) can make you feel dizzy for the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure one week after starting Altace (ramipril) or changing your dose.
  • Tell your doctor about any dizziness, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
  • Requires routine blood tests to check how your kidneys are working.
  • Don't take Altace (ramipril) if you're pregnant.
  • If you can't swallow the capsule, you can open it up and mix with water, apple juice, or apple sauce.
  • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Tell your doctor about any dizziness, fatigue, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
  • Requires regular blood tests to check kidney function.
  • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
Learn more
More about AltaceSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Altace (ramipril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it