Compare Norvasc vs. Benicar

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

Norvasc
(amlodipine)

Benicar
(olmesartan)

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.Lowers blood pressure. Benicar (Olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function like an ACE inhibitor, but with fewer side effects.
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Coupons for Norvasc
Best available price for 30 (5mg) tablets of amlodipine
Coupons for Benicar
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of olmesartan
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.09Norvasc
Reviews for Norvasc (amlodipine)
58%
of people (All ages) say Norvasc (amlodipine) is worth it
50%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
443 reviews
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Benicar (olmesartan)
65%
+7% better vs. Norvasc (amlodipine)
63%
+13% better vs. Norvasc (amlodipine)
12%
+3% better vs. Norvasc (amlodipine)
118 reviews
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NorvascBenicar
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 2%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 5%
  • Flushing 3%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
More Norvasc side effects »
  • Dizziness 2%
More Benicar side effects »
How it works
NorvascBenicar
Norvasc (Amlodipine) is a calcium channel blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing your heart rate and relaxing your blood vessels. Your heart gets more oxygen and doesn't have to work as hard to pump, which can relieve chest pain.Benicar (Olmesartan) 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.
Type of medication
NorvascBenicar
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NorvascBenicar
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
NorvascBenicar
Risk factors for serious side effects
NorvascBenicar
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • History of blood vessel disease
  • History of heart failure
Detailed Norvasc (amlodipine) risks & warnings »
  • African descent
  • Current kidney problems
  • Medicine that increase potassium
  • Use of salt substitute
Detailed Benicar (olmesartan) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. 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.

Interactions
NorvascBenicar
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
NorvascBenicar
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
  • Your body uses your liver to break down Norvasc (Amlodipine) and remove it from your blood. If you have liver disease you may not be able to remove Norvasc (Amlodipine) as quickly from your blood as someone with a healthy liver. You should increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine) slowly and watch closely for how it is working in your body. Increasing the dose slowly will lower your chances of having side effects.
  • 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.
Pain
NorvascBenicar
  • Worsening heart pain or increased risk of heart attack is possible when you first start taking Norvasc (Amlodipine). This can also happen after you increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine). Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any heart pain, radiating jaw pain, crushing chest pain, or persistent racing heartbeat.
No pain related info.
Weight
NorvascBenicar
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
NorvascBenicar
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
NorvascBenicar
  • 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.
  • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Not available in less expensive generic form.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NorvascBenicar
  • 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.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause ankle or foot swelling.
  • Can cause gum overgrowth. Ask your dentist to check for this side effect.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about NorvascSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BenicarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benicar (olmesartan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it