Compare Atacand vs. Benicar

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

Atacand
(Candesartan)

Benicar
(Olmesartan)

Lowers blood pressure. Atacand (Candesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function just like ACE inhibitors, but has fewer side effects.Lowers blood pressure. Benicar (Olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function like an ACE inhibitor, but with fewer side effects.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Benicar (Olmesartan)
66%
34% vs. Atacand (Candesartan)
63%
37% vs. Atacand (Candesartan)
13%
13% vs. Atacand (Candesartan)
Side effects
AtacandBenicar

We haven’t found good data for Atacand side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Atacand »
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar side effects »
How it works
AtacandBenicar
Atacand (Candesartan) is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). By blocking a chemical that usually tightens blood vessels, it makes blood vessels relax. This 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 blocks a chemical that tightens blood vessels. This makes blood vessels relax, which lowers blood pressure and allows more blood and oxygen to get to your heart and other organs.
Type of medication
AtacandBenicar
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Available as
AtacandBenicar
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
AtacandBenicar
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtacandBenicar
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of kidney problems
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicine that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitute
Detailed Atacand (Candesartan) risks & warnings »
    • African descent
    • Current kidney problems
    • Medicine that increase potassium
    • Use of salt substitute
      Detailed Benicar (Olmesartan) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      AtacandBenicar
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
      • Get your blood pressure, potassium, and kidney function checked 1 week after starting the medicine, then routinely after.
      • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
      • Atacand (Candesartan) has a risk of making your kidneys not work as well. It is important to get blood work done to check your kidney function before starting Atacand (Candesartan) and at least annually after.
      • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
      • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific 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
      AtacandBenicar
      • Works similar to ACE inhibitors (like lisinopril), but doesn't have the same side effects like cough and swelling.
      • Recommended for people with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
      • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
      • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
      • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
      • Similar to ACE inhibitors (like Lisinopril), with fewer side effects like cough and swelling.
      • Recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
      • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
      • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
      Downsides and risks
      AtacandBenicar
      • Not always covered by insurance, so it can be expensive.
      • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
      • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
      • Not available in less expensive generic form.
      • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
      • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      AtacandBenicar
      • Get your blood pressure, potassium, and kidney function checked 1 week after starting the medicine, then routinely after.
      • Tell your doctor about any dizziness or muscle weakness that doesn't go away.
      • Get immediate medical help if you notice any swelling, especially around your head and neck.
      • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
      • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
      • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
      • 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.
      • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
      • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
      • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
      Learn more
      More about AtacandSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert