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 heart failure and heart attack with fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You have to take it on an empty stomach, and you can't miss doses.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.965648854961832Losartan
Reviews for Cozaar (Losartan)
57%
of people say Cozaar (Losartan) is worth it
47%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Tenormin (Atenolol)
57%
Same vs. Cozaar (Losartan)
48%
+1% vs. Cozaar (Losartan)
16%
Same vs. Cozaar (Losartan)
Side effects
LosartanAtenolol
  • Urinary tract infection 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Low blood sugar 4%
  • Low blood pressure 4%
  • Muscle weakness/fatiguea/fatigue 4%
  • Hyperkalemia 4%
  • Chest pain 4%
  • Low red blood cells 3%
  • Muscular weakness 3%
  • Orthostatic hypotension 3%
More Losartan side effects »
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Cold extremities 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Vivid dreams 2%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
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. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart and making it less work to pump.
Type of medication
LosartanAtenolol
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Available as
LosartanAtenolol
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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 category
      LosartanAtenolol
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
      • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-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 failure and heart attack.
      • At lower doses, Atenolol has fewer side effects than most beta blockers because it targets the heart and doesn't cross into the brain and central nervous system.
      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 have to take 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 for some might not go away.
      • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
      • You can't miss doses. Stopping Atenolol suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
      • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      LosartanAtenolol
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • Take it on an empty stomach.
      • Can cause fatigue and insomnia.
      • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
      • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about LosartanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert