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 your kidneys, but with fewer side effects.Lowers blood pressure. Zestril (lisinopril) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function.
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 Lisinopril
61%
+4% better vs. Benicar
51%
+12% better vs. Benicar
14%
+2% better vs. Benicar
687 reviews
Have you used Zestril (lisinopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BenicarLisinopril
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar side effects »
  • Headache 4%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Cough 3%
  • Low blood pressure 4%
  • Chest pain 2%
  • Kidney damage 10%
  • Fainting 7%
  • High potassium 6%
More Lisinopril side effects »
How it works
BenicarLisinopril
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.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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
BenicarLisinopril
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
BenicarLisinopril
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenicarLisinopril
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of kidney problems
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Using medicines that increase potassium
Detailed Benicar (olmesartan) risks & warnings »
  • Women of childbearing age
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicines that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitutes
Detailed Zestril (lisinopril) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Kidneys and liver
BenicarLisinopril
  • 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.
  • You'll need to have blood tests done to check your kidney function.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
Weight
BenicarLisinopril
  • 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
BenicarLisinopril
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Very cheap drug, and comes available as a liquid for children over 6 years of age.
Downsides and risks
BenicarLisinopril
  • 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.
  • Up to 10% of people can get a dry cough while using 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.
  • Zestril (lisinopril) isn't safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Doesn't work as well in people of African descent, and can cause a greater chance of face, tongue, or lip swelling.
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 regular blood tests to check kidney function.
  • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
  • Can cause dizziness the first few days you're taking it.
  • Check your blood pressure about 1 week after starting Zestril (lisinopril), and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Let your doctor know about any dizziness, tiredness, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
  • You'll need to have blood tests done to check your kidney function.
  • Don't take Zestril (lisinopril) if you're pregnant.
Learn more
More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LisinoprilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zestril (lisinopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it