Compare Benicar vs. hydrochlorothiazide

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

Benicar
(olmesartan)

Microzide
(hydrochlorothiazide )

Lowers blood pressure. Benicar (olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects your kidneys, but with fewer side effects.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.41Benicar
Reviews for Benicar
65%
of people (All ages) say Benicar is worth it
63%
say it works well
12%
say it's a big hassle
118 reviews
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for hydrochlorothiazide
47%
+18% better vs. Benicar
31%
+32% better vs. Benicar
16%
+4% better vs. Benicar
139 reviews
Have you used Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide )?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar side effects »

The hydrochlorothiazide FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about hydrochlorothiazide side effects »
How it works
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
Benicar (olmesartan) is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). It lowers blood pressure by blocking a chemical that tightens the blood vessels. This allows more blood and oxygen to get to your heart and other organs.Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)) is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that makes you urinate more. It works in the kidneys to remove extra water and certain electrolytes, while lowering blood pressure and reducing swelling.
Type of medication
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
Risk factors for serious side effects
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of kidney problems
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Using medicines that increase potassium
Detailed Benicar (olmesartan) risks & warnings »
  • Current electrolyte imbalance
  • Lower kidney function
  • Dehydration
  • History of sulfa allergies
  • History of gout
Detailed Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide ) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Kidneys and liver
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • Benicar (olmesartan) can hurt your kidneys. If you already have some degree of kidney damage, Benicar (olmesartan) could make it worse. It's important to get blood work done to check your kidney function before starting Benicar (olmesartan) and at least once a year while you're still taking it.
  • Requires regular blood tests to check kidney function.
  • 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.
Weight
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • 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.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • 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 and risks
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • 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)).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Benicarhydrochlorothiazide
  • 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 regular blood tests to check kidney function.
  • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
  • Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)) starts working in about 2 hours.
  • It makes you urinate more often, so don't take it at bedtime.
  • 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 tiredness or muscle weakness that doesn't go away.
  • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
Learn more
More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about hydrochlorothiazideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide )?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it