Compare Benicar vs. hydrochlorothiazide

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

Benicar (olmesartan)

Prescription only
Lowers blood pressure.

Benicar (olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects your kidneys, but with fewer side effects.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 118 reviewsforBenicar
Removes water from the body, which lowers blood pressure.

Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)) is a well-tolerated water pill that's often the first-choice treatment for mild high blood pressure.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 139 reviewsforhydrochlorothiazide
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Does a good job getting rid of extra fluids in your body by making you urinate more.
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment. Works especially well for people of African descent.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Good option if you have high blood pressure and heart failure.
  • Most people have very few side effects from Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)).
  • Can be good for patients with osteoporosis since it raises the body's level of calcium.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Makes you urinate more often.
  • Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)) doesn't work well in people with severe kidney problems.
  • It can increase the risk of gout attacks in people with poor kidney function or a history of gout.
  • People with a sulfa allergy may be allergic to Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
118 reviews so far
65%
saidit'sworth it
63%
saiditworked well
12%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?

Leave a review
139 reviews so far
47%
saidit'sworth it
31%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ))?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Benicar (olmesartan) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Birth defects
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Worsening kidney problems
    • History of kidney problems
  • Swelling in the face and head
    • African descent
  • High potassium levels
    • Current kidney problems
    • Using medicines that increase potassium
    • Using salt substitutes
  • Low blood pressure
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that lower your blood pressure
  • Severe diarrhea
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance
    • Current electrolyte imbalance
    • Lower kidney function
    • Dehydration
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • History of sulfa allergies
  • Gout
    • History of gout
    • Current kidney problems
  • Vision problems
    • History of sulfa or penicillin allergies
  • Higher blood sugars
    • Diabetes
See more detailed risks and warnings