Compare Lisinopril vs. Benicar

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

Zestril
(lisinopril)

Benicar
(olmesartan)

Lowers blood pressure. Zestril (lisinopril) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function.Lowers blood pressure. Benicar (olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects your kidneys, but with fewer side effects.
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Coupons for Lisinopril
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of lisinopril
Coupons for Benicar
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of benicar
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.17Lisinopril
Reviews for Lisinopril
61%
of people (All ages) say Lisinopril is worth it
51%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle
687 reviews
Have you used Zestril (lisinopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Benicar
65%
-4% worse vs. Lisinopril
63%
-12% worse vs. Lisinopril
12%
-2% worse vs. Lisinopril
118 reviews
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LisinoprilBenicar
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar side effects »
How it works
LisinoprilBenicar
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.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
LisinoprilBenicar
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LisinoprilBenicar
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
LisinoprilBenicar
Risk factors for serious side effects
LisinoprilBenicar
  • Women of childbearing age
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicines that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitutes
Detailed Zestril (lisinopril) 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
LisinoprilBenicar
  • 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.
  • 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
LisinoprilBenicar
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
LisinoprilBenicar
  • 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.
  • 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
LisinoprilBenicar
  • 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.
  • 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
LisinoprilBenicar
  • 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.
  • 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 LisinoprilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zestril (lisinopril)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it