Compare Benicar vs. Norvasc

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

Benicar (olmesartan)

Prescription only

Norvasc (Amlodipine)

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
Lowers blood pressure.

Norvasc (Amlodipine) works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 443 reviewsforNorvasc
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.
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
  • Each dose lasts longer than other calcium channel blockers, which keeps blood pressure consistent without big ups and downs.
  • Particularly good at lowering systolic blood pressure (the top number), so it's a good option for older people who can commonly get high blood pressure only in the top number.
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.
  • Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling in your limbs. If this happens for you, it probably won't get better over time, so talk to your doctor about alternatives if it bothers you.
  • Women are more likely to have side effects (especially swelling) from Amlodipine than men.
  • Some people might experience flushing with this medication.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Amlodipine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • If you have severe heart disease, using Amlodipine might increase your risk of chest pain or heart attack during the time right after starting the medication or raising the dosage.
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
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
443 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Norvasc (Amlodipine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Benicar (olmesartan) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
3possible side effects
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Nausea
    3%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
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
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Heart attack
    • History of heart problems
  • Special dosing requirements
    • Liver disease
  • Foot and leg swelling (edema)
    • History of blood vessel disease
    • History of heart failure
    • History of kidney disease
    • Obesity
See more detailed risks and warnings