Compare Captopril vs. Benicar

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

Capoten
(captopril)

Benicar
(olmesartan)

Lowers blood pressure. Captopril is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function, but you have to take it on an empty stomach.Lowers blood pressure. Benicar (olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects your kidneys, but with fewer side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
3.84Captopril
Reviews for Captopril
34%
of people (All ages) say Captopril is worth it
25%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle
106 reviews
Have you used Capoten (captopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Benicar
65%
-31% worse vs. Captopril
63%
-38% worse vs. Captopril
12%
-13% worse vs. Captopril
118 reviews
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CaptoprilBenicar
  • Rash 7%
  • Flushing 5%
  • Dysgeusia 4%
  • Pruritus 2%
  • Cough 2%
More Captopril side effects »
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar side effects »
How it works
CaptoprilBenicar
Captopril 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.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.
Type of medication
CaptoprilBenicar
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CaptoprilBenicar
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
CaptoprilBenicar
Risk factors for serious side effects
CaptoprilBenicar
  • Women of childbearing age
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicine that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitute
Detailed Capoten (captopril) risks & warnings »
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of kidney problems
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Using medicines that increase potassium
Detailed Benicar (olmesartan) 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
CaptoprilBenicar
  • 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.
  • 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.
Weight
CaptoprilBenicar
No weight related info.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
CaptoprilBenicar
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
CaptoprilBenicar
  • 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.
  • Compared to other ACE inhibitors, less flexible on when and how you take it. Captopril needs to be taken multiple times a day on an empty stomach.
  • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CaptoprilBenicar
  • Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
  • 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 change in taste sensation 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 regular blood tests to check kidney function.
  • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
Learn more
More about CaptoprilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Capoten (captopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it