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Benicar HCT

Pronunciation

Generic Name: olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Oral route)

ol-me-SAR-tan me-DOX-oh-mil, hye-droe-klor-oh-THYE-a-zide

Oral route(Tablet)

Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury or death to the developing fetus when used during pregnancy. Stop therapy as soon as possible if pregnancy is detected .

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Benicar HCT

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist/Thiazide Combination

Pharmacologic Class: Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist

Chemical Class: Thiazide

Uses For Benicar HCT

Olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination is used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

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Olmesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It works by blocking a substance in the body that causes blood vessels to tighten. As a result, olmesartan relaxes the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It reduces the amount of water in the body by increasing the flow of urine, which helps lower the blood pressure.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using Benicar HCT

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
1st Trimester C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.
2nd Trimester D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.
3rd Trimester D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Dofetilide

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acetyldigoxin
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Benazepril
  • Captopril
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Deslanoside
  • Digitalis
  • Digitoxin
  • Digoxin
  • Droperidol
  • Enalapril
  • Enalaprilat
  • Flecainide
  • Fosinopril
  • Ketanserin
  • Levomethadyl
  • Lisinopril
  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate
  • Metildigoxin
  • Moexipril
  • Ouabain
  • Perindopril Erbumine
  • Proscillaridin
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Sotalol
  • Trandolapril

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aceclofenac
  • Acemetacin
  • Alacepril
  • Amtolmetin Guacil
  • Aspirin
  • Benazepril
  • Bepridil
  • Bromfenac
  • Bufexamac
  • Captopril
  • Carbamazepine
  • Celecoxib
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Cholestyramine
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Cilazapril
  • Clonixin
  • Colesevelam
  • Delapril
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Dexketoprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Diflunisal
  • Dipyrone
  • Enalaprilat
  • Enalapril Maleate
  • Etodolac
  • Etofenamate
  • Etoricoxib
  • Felbinac
  • Fenoprofen
  • Fepradinol
  • Feprazone
  • Floctafenine
  • Flufenamic Acid
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Fosinopril
  • Ginkgo
  • Glipizide
  • Gossypol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ibuprofen Lysine
  • Imidapril
  • Indomethacin
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ketorolac
  • Licorice
  • Lisinopril
  • Lornoxicam
  • Loxoprofen
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Meloxicam
  • Moexipril
  • Morniflumate
  • Nabumetone
  • Naproxen
  • Nepafenac
  • Niflumic Acid
  • Nimesulide
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Parecoxib
  • Pentopril
  • Perindopril
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Piroxicam
  • Pranoprofen
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propyphenazone
  • Proquazone
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Rofecoxib
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Salsalate
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Spirapril
  • Sulindac
  • Temocapril
  • Tenoxicam
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Tolmetin
  • Topiramate
  • Trandolapril
  • Valdecoxib
  • Zofenopril

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Anuria (not able to form urine) or
  • Diabetic patients who are also taking aliskiren (Tekturna®) or
  • Patients with kidney problems who are also taking aliskiren (Tekturna®) or
  • Sulfa drug allergy, history of—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Asthma, or history of or
  • Dehydration, severe or
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood)—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Congestive heart failure, severe—Use may lead to kidney problems.
  • Diabetes or
  • Glaucoma, secondary angle closure or
  • Gout or
  • Hypercalcemia (high calcium in the blood) or
  • Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol or fats in the blood) or
  • Hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood) or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood) or
  • Liver disease or
  • Myopia (nearsighted; can't see objects at a distance) or
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (immune system disease)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of Benicar HCT

In addition to using this medicine, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium (salt). Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.

Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.

Remember that this medicine will not cure your high blood pressure but it does help control it. Therefore, you must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

If you are also using colesevelam (Welchol®), take it at least 4 hours after taking Benicar HCT®.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—One tablet once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using Benicar HCT

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may also occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position or if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Make sure you know how you react to the medicine before you drive, use machines, or do other things that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert. If you feel dizzy, lie down so you do not faint. Then sit for a few moments before standing to prevent the dizziness from returning.

Check with your doctor right away if you become sick while taking this medicine, especially with severe or continuing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that does not stop. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water or salt and lead to low blood pressure. You can also lose water by sweating, so drink plenty of water during exercise or in hot weather.

Severe, chronic diarrhea with weight loss may develop months to years after taking this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have these symptoms.

Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, eye pain, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. This could be a sign of a serious eye problem. Your doctor may want eye doctor to check your eyes.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients may notice a change in the results of blood or urine sugar tests. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Benicar HCT Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
  • Bladder pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • flushed, dry skin
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • increased hunger
  • increased urination
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • lower back, side, or stomach pain
  • rapid weight gain
  • sweating
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • troubled breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual weight gain or loss
Rare
  • Swelling or puffiness of the face
Incidence not known
  • Convulsions
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • diarrhea (severe) with weight loss
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • rash

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Back pain
  • body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • difficulty with breathing
  • ear congestion or pain
  • fever
  • headache
  • head congestion
  • hoarseness or other voice changes
  • loss of voice
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • difficulty with moving
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  • sensation of spinning
  • stomach discomfort or upset
  • weakness
Incidence not known
  • Diarrhea
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nervousness
  • weakness or heaviness of the legs

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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