Compare Atenolol vs. Losartan

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

Tenormin
(Atenolol)

Cozaar
(Losartan)

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. Cozaar (Losartan) 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
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 Cozaar (Losartan)
57%
Same vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
47%
1% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
16%
Same vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
Side effects
AtenololLosartan
  • 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 »
  • Urinary tract infection 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Low blood sugar 4%
  • Low blood pressure 4%
  • Muscle weakness/fatiguea/fatigue 4%
  • Hyperkalemia 4%
  • Chest pain 4%
  • Low red blood cells 3%
  • Muscular weakness 3%
  • Orthostatic hypotension 3%
More Losartan side effects »
How it works
AtenololLosartan
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.Cozaar (Losartan) 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
AtenololLosartan
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Available as
AtenololLosartan
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
AtenololLosartan
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololLosartan
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (Atenolol)
    • Taking calcium channel blockers
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
    • Diabetes
      • Taking clonidine
      Detailed Tenormin (Atenolol) risks & warnings »
      • Women of childbearing age
      • Concurrent liver disease
      • Current kidney problems
      • Medicine that increase potassium
      • Use of salt substitute
      Detailed Cozaar (Losartan) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      AtenololLosartan
      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
      AtenololLosartan
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • Recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
      Downsides and risks
      AtenololLosartan
      • 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.
      • 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
      AtenololLosartan
      • 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 LosartanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert