Compare Losartan vs. Atenolol

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

Cozaar
(losartan)

Tenormin
(atenolol)

Lowers blood pressure. Cozaar (Losartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function like an ACE inhibitor, but with fewer side effects.Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Tenormin (atenolol) is good for controlling chest pain and treating a heart attack. It has fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You need to take it on an empty stomach and you can't skip doses.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.99Losartan
Reviews for Losartan
57%
of people (All ages) say Losartan is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
535 reviews
Have you used Cozaar (losartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Atenolol
58%
-1% worse vs. Losartan
48%
Same vs. Losartan
16%
Same vs. Losartan
457 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LosartanAtenolol
  • Upper respiratory infection 1%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Nasal congestion 1%
  • Urinary tract infection 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Muscle weakness/fatiguea/fatigue 4%
  • Low red blood cells 3%
  • Low blood sugar 4%
  • Back pain 2%
More Losartan side effects »
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Cold arms and legs 7%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Light-headedness 3%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Decreased energy 3%
More Atenolol side effects »
How it works
LosartanAtenolol
Cozaar (Losartan) 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.Tenormin (atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.
Type of medication
LosartanAtenolol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LosartanAtenolol
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
LosartanAtenolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
LosartanAtenolol
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Concurrent liver disease
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicine that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitute
Detailed Cozaar (losartan) risks & warnings »
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Taking calcium channel blockers
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • Taking clonidine
Detailed Tenormin (atenolol) 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.

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
LosartanAtenolol
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Upsides and benefits
LosartanAtenolol
  • 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.
  • Recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart attack recovery.
  • At lower doses, Tenormin (atenolol) has fewer side effects than other beta blockers because it targets the heart and not other parts of the body.
Downsides and risks
LosartanAtenolol
  • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • You need to take Tenormin (atenolol) on an empty stomach.
  • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but it might not go away for others.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure unless you have heart disease. However, your doctor could add it to other medicines you're already if your blood pressure is still too high.
  • You can't miss or skip doses. If you stop Tenormin (atenolol) suddenly, it can cause your blood pressure to go up really quickly, raising your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Tenormin (atenolol) can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LosartanAtenolol
  • 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.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Raises good cholesterol.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing in your eyes or skin.
Learn more
More about LosartanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cozaar (losartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it