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 heart failure and heart attack with fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You have to take it on an empty stomach, and you can't miss doses.Lowers blood pressure. Zestril (Lisinopril) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.896860986547085Atenolol
Reviews for Tenormin (Atenolol)
57%
of people say Tenormin (Atenolol) is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Zestril (Lisinopril)
61%
+4% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
51%
+3% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
13%
+3% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
Side effects
AtenololLisinopril
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Cold extremities 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Vivid dreams 2%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
More Atenolol side effects »
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Headache 4%
  • Cough 3%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Chest pain 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Upper respiratory infection 1%
More Lisinopril side effects »
How it works
AtenololLisinopril
Tenormin (Atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart and making it less work to pump.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
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
ACE inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
AtenololLisinopril
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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
        • Medicine that increase potassium
        • Use of salt substitute
        Detailed Zestril (Lisinopril) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        AtenololLisinopril
        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
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        • 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.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        AtenololLisinopril
        • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
        • A first-choice treatment for heart failure and heart attack.
        • At lower doses, Atenolol has fewer side effects than most beta blockers because it targets the heart and doesn't cross into the brain and central nervous system.
        • 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.
        Downsides and risks
        AtenololLisinopril
        • You have to take 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 for some might not go away.
        • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
        • You can't miss doses. Stopping Atenolol suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
        • Up to 1 in 10 people can get a dry cough with 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.
        • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AtenololLisinopril
        • Take it on an empty stomach.
        • Can cause fatigue and insomnia.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
        • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
        • 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 routine blood tests to check kidney function.
        • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
        • 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.
        Learn more
        More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about LisinoprilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert