Compare Benicar vs. Lisinopril

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

Benicar
(Olmesartan)

Zestril
(Lisinopril)

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. 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
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 Zestril (Lisinopril)
61%
5% vs. Benicar (Olmesartan)
51%
12% vs. Benicar (Olmesartan)
13%
Same vs. Benicar (Olmesartan)
Side effects
BenicarLisinopril
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar 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
BenicarLisinopril
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.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
BenicarLisinopril
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
ACE inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
BenicarLisinopril
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
BenicarLisinopril
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenicarLisinopril
    • African descent
    • Current kidney problems
    • Medicine that increase potassium
    • Use of salt substitute
      Detailed Benicar (Olmesartan) 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
        BenicarLisinopril
        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
        • 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.
        • 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
        • 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
        BenicarLisinopril
        • Similar to ACE inhibitors (like Lisinopril), with fewer side effects like cough and swelling.
        • 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.
        • 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
        BenicarLisinopril
        • Not available in less expensive generic form.
        • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
        • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
        • 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
        BenicarLisinopril
        • 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.
        • 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.
        Learn more
        More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about LisinoprilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert