Cozaar vs Lisinopril

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For patients with hypertension or other types of heart-related conditions, certain medications can help manage symptoms and control blood pressure levels. Cozaar and Lisinopril are two such drugs that are commonly prescribed for these conditions. They each impact different aspects of the cardiovascular system but both have been shown to be effective in managing hypertension.

Cozaar is classified as an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It works by blocking a substance in your body that causes blood vessels to tighten, helping them relax and lower your blood pressure.

Lisinopril on the other hand falls under the category of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors which work by preventing the formation of a hormone called angiotensin II, resulting in relaxed veins and arteries allowing easier flow of blood thus reducing overall blood pressure.

What is Cozaar?

Losartan (the generic name for Cozaar) was one of the first drugs in the class of angiotensin II receptor blockers, a significant advancement from ACE inhibitors like Lisinopril. Losartan was initially approved by the FDA in 1995. Cozaar functions by blocking the effects of a hormone called angiotensin II which constricts blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more smoothly and reducing blood pressure effectively. It is frequently prescribed for high blood pressure as well as kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. While both medications are used to manage high blood pressure, they work differently within your body's system: whereas Lisinopril works by inhibiting an enzyme that produces angiotensin II, Losartan acts directly on the receptors that respond to this hormone. As such, some patients may experience fewer side effects with Losartan compared to Lisinopril due to its more targeted approach.

What conditions is Cozaar approved to treat?

Cozaar and Lisinopril are both approved for the treatment of different conditions related to heart health:

  • Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure
  • Heart failure, to improve survival after a heart attack (Lisinopril)
  • Reduction in the risk of stroke (Cozaar)
  • Diabetic nephropathy, which is kidney damage caused by diabetes (Cozaar)

How does Cozaar help with these illnesses?

Cozaar (losartan) helps to manage high blood pressure by blocking the action of a hormone called angiotensin II. This hormone causes constriction of the blood vessels, which in turn increases blood pressure. Cozaar prevents this from happening by inhibiting the binding of angiotensin II to its receptors, thereby causing relaxation and dilation of the blood vessels, resulting in lower blood pressure. Angiotensin II also stimulates release of another hormone that promotes salt and water retention; therefore, losartan indirectly helps your body get rid of extra fluid.

On the other hand, Lisinopril reduces high blood pressure levels through a different mechanism: it is an ACE inhibitor. ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme, which converts inactive angiotensin I into active form - angiotensin II. By inhibiting this conversion process with lisinopril use, less angiotensin II is produced leading to dilated or widened arteries and decreased fluid volume due to reduced aldosterone production caused by less available AngII.

The choice between these medications depends on individual patient factors such as kidney function status and other comorbidities like diabetes or heart failure conditions.

What is Lisinopril?

Lisinopril is a brand name for an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily. This reduction in pressure makes it easier for the heart to pump blood, thus improving its function and reducing symptoms of fluid retention. It also reduces the production of certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows smoother and the heart can pump more efficiently. Lisinopril was first approved by the FDA in 1987. Unlike Cozaar (losartan), which acts on angiotensin II receptor antagonists to prevent constriction of smooth muscle around your arteries, lisinopril does not have this targeted action but instead affects overall ACE activity within your body systemically. Its effect profile differs from losartan particularly due to its potential side effects like cough and high potassium levels (hyperkalemia), compared with Cozaar's common side effect - dizziness due to low blood pressure (hypotension). The effects of lisinopril are beneficial especially for treating hypertension or congestive heart failure and may be preferred over other medications such as Cozaar if patients respond better to ACE inhibitors.

What conditions is Lisinopril approved to treat?

Lisinopril is a commonly prescribed medication for managing various conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension), which can help in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Heart failure, where it aids by decreasing strain on the heart, enhancing its performance and overall efficiency.
  • Post-heart attacks (myocardial infarction) to improve survival rates.

How does Lisinopril help with these illnesses?

Angiotensin is a hormone that can cause blood vessels to narrow (constrict) and release aldosterone, which prompts your body to retain salt and fluid. These actions result in increased blood pressure. Lisinopril works by blocking the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, thereby allowing blood vessels to relax and open up, leading to a decrease in blood pressure. Its action on preventing the damaging effects of angiotensin on the heart also makes it an effective medication for managing symptoms of heart failure. While Cozaar operates differently as an Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB), Lisinopril falls under the category of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACE). Because it does not affect bradykinins levels like ACE inhibitors do, some patients who experience persistent coughing or other side effects with Lisinopril might be switched over to Cozaar or vice versa.

How effective are both Cozaar and Lisinopril?

Both Losartan (Cozaar) and Lisinopril have proven track records in treating hypertension, with both of them being approved by the FDA within a few years of each other. They work through different mechanisms: losartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) while lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI). Both drugs were directly compared in several clinical trials; for instance, a 2005 study found that both medications had similar effectiveness in reducing blood pressure but differed slightly in terms of side effects.

A 2017 systematic review on losartan showed that it effectively reduces blood pressure within the first week of treatment and has a favorable safety profile. This review also reported that losartan was one of the most widely prescribed ARBs worldwide due to its long history and effective results in managing high blood pressure. The dose showing optimal efficacy for lowering blood pressure is typically around 50 mg/day, although this can vary between individuals.

On the other hand, according to a meta-analysis conducted in 2016, lisinopril seems to be more effective than placebo at controlling high blood pressure and appears to be as effective as other commonly used ACE inhibitors. However, it's worth noting that coughing is often reported as a common side effect associated with lisinopril use - something not seen with ARBs like Cozaar. Despite this potential drawback, lisinopril remains an important tool in combating hypertension due its unique mechanism action which enables it lower blood pressure effectively.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Cozaar typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Cozaar typically range from 25–100 mg/day, with most people finding adequate control of their high blood pressure with a daily dose of 50 mg. Children aged 6 years and older can start on a dosage as low as 0.7mg/kg up to 50 mg once daily. In both adults and children, if the desired blood pressure reduction is not achieved after three weeks, the dosage may be increased. However, in any case, the maximum recommended dosage for adults per day should not exceed 100 mg.

In contrast, Lisinopril is usually started at an oral dose of 10-20 mg/day for hypertension management in adults and adjusted according to response over time - typically every few weeks - but never exceeding a maximum daily dose of 80mg. For children who can swallow tablets (age six years and more), it often starts at a lower dosage that's individually determined by your doctor based on body weight.

At what dose is Lisinopril typically prescribed?

Lisinopril treatment is typically initiated at a dosage of 10 mg/day. The dose can then be increased to 20 mg/day, given once daily. Some patients may need the maximum daily dose of 40 mg for optimal blood pressure control or kidney protection. This higher dosage may be trialed if there's no response to treatment at 20mg/day after several weeks. It's important that doses are taken around the same time each day, and it can be taken with or without food.

What are the most common side effects for Cozaar?

Some of the most common side effects when taking Cozaar may include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness due to a drop in blood pressure
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough, nasal congestion, sore throat (upper respiratory infection)
  • Fatigue and asthenia (general weakness and fatigue)
  • Hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium in the blood)

On the other hand, Lisinopril's potential side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Persistent cough
  • Low blood pressure particularly upon standing up (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Rash -Nausea -Kidney impairment

Remember that if you experience any severe or persistent symptoms while on either medication, it is crucial for you to seek medical attention immediately.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Cozaar?

Cozaar and Lisinopril are both used to treat high blood pressure, but they can have different side effects. With Cozaar, be on the lookout for:

  • Serious allergic reactions: symptoms may include swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Changes in heartbeat: rapid, pounding or irregular heartbeat
  • Kidney problems: changes in the amount of urine produced (more or less than usual), swollen ankles/feet/hands due to fluid build-up (edema)
  • High potassium levels in blood (hyperkalemia): symptoms could include muscle weakness/cramps/twitching

With Lisinopril:

  • Signs of angioedema – a severe allergic reaction: these include swelling of your face/lips/tongue/throat which may cause difficulty breathing/swallowing
  • Hyperkalemia - unusually high levels of potassium in your blood
    • Symptoms might include slow heart rate and weak pulse along with numbness and tingling sensation.

If you experience any of these side effects while taking either medication it is important that you seek immediate medical attention.

What are the most common side effects for Lisinopril?

Common side effects associated with Lisinopril include:

  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness when standing up suddenly or getting up in the morning
  • Nausea and vomiting which may be accompanied by a loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Increased urination, possibly causing feelings of dehydration
  • Changes in heart rate such as a fast heartbeat or palpitations.

In more severe cases it can cause confusion and change the mood leading to agitation. It is also possible for Lisinopril to affect sleep patterns potentially causing insomnia.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Lisinopril?

While Lisinopril is generally well-tolerated, there are certain serious side effects that you should be aware of. These include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction: hives; severe stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); difficulty breathing; swelling in your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Symptoms related to kidney problems: little or no urination; high potassium levels - slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness or limp feeling.
  • Serious liver problems: upper stomach pain; loss of appetite; dark urine; jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
  • Severe skin reactions with symptoms such as fever, sore throat burning in your eyes and skin pain followed by a red/purple rash that spreads especially in the face/torso causing blistering and peeling.

If any of these occur while taking Lisinopril contact your doctor immediately. It's important to remember that most people do not experience these side effects but being informed about them will help you manage potential risks better.

Contraindications for Cozaar and Lisinopril?

Both Cozaar and Lisinopril, as with most other antihypertensive medications, can sometimes cause unwanted side effects in some people. If you notice your blood pressure dropping excessively or if you experience symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, or rapid and irregular heartbeat, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Cozaar nor Lisinopril should be taken if you are taking, or have been taking medication for diabetes that contains aliskiren (Tekturna). Always inform your physician of all the medications you are currently on; certain drugs require a period to clear from your system before starting another to prevent dangerous interactions. For example, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) like Cozaar and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors like lisinopril may interact negatively with aliskiren especially in patients who suffer from kidney diseases.

How much do Cozaar and Lisinopril cost?

For the brand name versions of these medications:

  • The price for 30 tablets of Cozaar (50 mg) averages around $130, which works out to approximately $4.30/day depending on your dose.
  • The price for 30 tablets of Lisinopril (20 mg) is about $100, working out to roughly $3.33/day.

Therefore, if you are taking a higher dosage range for Cozaar (i.e., 100 mg/day), then brand-name Lisinopril might be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. Please remember that cost should not be the primary factor in determining which medication is right for you.

In terms of generic versions, costs are significantly lower:

  • Losartan Potassium (the active ingredient in Cozaar; available at 50mg doses) can be found in packs ranging from 15 up to several hundred tablets with costs starting as low as about $0.10/tablet if bought in bulk or through certain discount programs.
  • Generic Lisinopril starts around similar prices and can go down to just pennies per tablet when purchased in larger quantities.

Keep in mind that both medications require monitoring by a healthcare provider due to potential side effects and interactions with other drugs or conditions.

Popularity of Cozaar and Lisinopril

Losartan, in generic form as well as under the brand name Cozaar, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 37 million people in the US in 2017. Losartan accounted for just over 15% of prescriptions for angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) in the US. It has been generally increasing in prevalence since it was approved by FDA in 1995.

Lisinopril, including brand versions such as Prinivil and Zestril, was prescribed to approximately 87 million people in the USA during that same year. In the US, lisinopril accounts for just under half of all ACE inhibitor prescriptions and is one of the most commonly prescribed medications overall. The number of lisinopril prescriptions has remained fairly steady over time due to its long-established use and broad range of indications including high blood pressure, heart failure and diabetic kidney disease.


Both Cozaar (losartan) and Lisinopril are commonly used for managing hypertension, heart failure and kidney disease in diabetes patients. They have proven their efficacy through numerous clinical studies, showing that they can reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack more effectively than placebo treatments. While both aim to lower blood pressure, their mechanisms of action differ: Cozaar is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), blocking a substance in the body that causes blood vessels to tighten; while Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor which works by relaxing blood vessel muscles.

Cozaar may be preferred for patients who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors due to certain side effects such as persistent dry cough. It's also generally recommended as a first-line treatment option for those with type 2 diabetes due to its nephroprotective benefits. On the other hand, Lisinopril could be considered if cost is a significant concern since it's available in generic form at considerable savings.

As with any medication, both will likely require an adjustment period where your body gets used to them. Side effects are usually mild but can include dizziness, fatigue and headaches among others. Unlike Prozac and Wellbutrin mentioned above which affect mood states, these drugs work on cardiovascular function hence monitoring should focus on physical symptoms like unusual swelling or rapid weight gain instead of mood changes. As always consult your healthcare provider before making any decision regarding medications.