Compare Atenolol vs. Lisinopril

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

Tenormin
(atenolol)

Zestril
(lisinopril)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Tenormin (atenolol) is good for controlling chest pain and treating a heart attack. It has fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You need to take it on an empty stomach and you can't skip doses.Lowers blood pressure. Zestril (lisinopril) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.92Atenolol
Reviews for Atenolol
58%
of people (All ages) say Atenolol is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
457 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lisinopril
61%
-3% worse vs. Atenolol
51%
-3% worse vs. Atenolol
14%
-2% worse vs. Atenolol
687 reviews
Have you used Zestril (lisinopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtenololLisinopril
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Cold arms and legs 7%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Light-headedness 3%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Decreased energy 3%
More Atenolol side effects »
  • Headache 4%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Cough 3%
  • Low blood pressure 4%
  • Chest pain 2%
  • Kidney damage 10%
  • Fainting 7%
  • High potassium 6%
More Lisinopril side effects »
How it works
AtenololLisinopril
Tenormin (atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.Zestril (lisinopril) is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. 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
AtenololLisinopril
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AtenololLisinopril
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
AtenololLisinopril
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololLisinopril
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Taking calcium channel blockers
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • Taking clonidine
Detailed Tenormin (atenolol) risks & warnings »
  • Women of childbearing age
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicines that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitutes
Detailed Zestril (lisinopril) 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.

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
AtenololLisinopril
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • You'll need to have blood tests done to check your kidney function.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
Upsides and benefits
AtenololLisinopril
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart attack recovery.
  • At lower doses, Tenormin (atenolol) has fewer side effects than other beta blockers because it targets the heart and not other parts of the body.
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • 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.
  • Recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
  • Very cheap drug, and comes available as a liquid for children over 6 years of age.
Downsides and risks
AtenololLisinopril
  • You need to take Tenormin (atenolol) on an empty stomach.
  • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but it might not go away for others.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure unless you have heart disease. However, your doctor could add it to other medicines you're already if your blood pressure is still too high.
  • You can't miss or skip doses. If you stop Tenormin (atenolol) suddenly, it can cause your blood pressure to go up really quickly, raising your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Tenormin (atenolol) can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
  • Up to 10% of people can get a dry cough while using this medicine. It ranges from a mild tickle in the throat to a persistent hacking cough.
  • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Zestril (lisinopril) isn't safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Doesn't work as well in people of African descent, and can cause a greater chance of face, tongue, or lip swelling.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtenololLisinopril
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Raises good cholesterol.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing in your eyes or skin.
  • Can cause dizziness the first few days you're taking it.
  • Check your blood pressure about 1 week after starting Zestril (lisinopril), and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Let your doctor know about any dizziness, tiredness, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
  • You'll need to have blood tests done to check your kidney function.
  • Don't take Zestril (lisinopril) if you're pregnant.
Learn more
More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LisinoprilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zestril (lisinopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it