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 kidney function like an ACE inhibitor, but with fewer side effects.Lowers blood pressure. Removes extra water from your body. Microzide (Hydrochlorothiazide (Hctz)) is a well-tolerated water pill that's often the first-choice treatment for mild high blood pressure.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.376146788990826Benicar
Reviews for Benicar (Olmesartan)
66%
of people say Benicar (Olmesartan) is worth it
63%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Microzide (Hydrochlorothiazide (Hctz))
47%
19% vs. Benicar (Olmesartan)
31%
32% vs. Benicar (Olmesartan)
15%
2% vs. Benicar (Olmesartan)
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 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.Microzide (Hydrochlorothiazide (Hctz)) is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It works in the kidneys to make you urinate more, which removes extra water and certain electrolytes. This lowers blood pressure and swelling.
Type of medication
BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Diuretic
Prescription only
Available as
BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
    • African descent
    • Current kidney problems
    • Medicine that increase potassium
    • Use of salt substitute
      Detailed Benicar (Olmesartan) risks & warnings »
      • Current electrolyte imbalance
      • History of sulfa allergies
      • History of gout
      • Current kidney problems
        Detailed Microzide (Hydrochlorothiazide (Hctz)) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
        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
        BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

        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
        • 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.
        • Doesn't work well in people with severe kidney problems.
        • 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
        • 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 specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
        • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
        • 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.
        • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
        • Works well to get rid of extra fluids in your body through urination.
        • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people. Works especially well for African Americans.
        • Good option if you have both high blood pressure and heart failure.
        • Raises calcium levels in the body, so it can be good for people with osteoporosis to slow down bone loss and even help with new bone formation.
        • Most people have very few side effects.
        • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
        Downsides and risks
        BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
        • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
        • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
        • Not available in less expensive generic form.
        • Makes you urinate more often.
        • Doesn't work well in people with severe kidney problems.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        BenicarHydrochlorothiazide
        • Tell your doctor about any dizziness, fatigue, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
        • 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.
        • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
        • Starts working in about 2 hours.
        • Makes you urinate more often, so avoid taking it at bedtime.
        • Tell your doctor about any dizziness, fatigue, or muscle weakness that doesn't go away.
        • 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.
        • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
        Learn more
        More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about HydrochlorothiazideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert