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hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan

Generic Name: hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan (HYE droe KLOR oh THYE a zide and ol me SAR tan)
Brand Name: Benicar HCT

What is hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan?

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

Olmesartan is in a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Olmesartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan is a combination medicine is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

Hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan?

Do not use hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan if you are pregnant. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

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You should not use this medication if you are unable to urinate, or if you are allergic to sulfa drugs.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Valturna).

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to hydrochlorothiazide, olmesartan, or sulfa drugs, or if you are unable to urinate.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Valturna).

You may also need to avoid taking this medicine with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

To make sure hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • glaucoma;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • low or high levels of potassium in your blood;

  • asthma or allergies;

  • high cholesterol or triglyceride levels;

  • gout; or

  • lupus.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Olmesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester. Use effective birth control while taking hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan.

Hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using this medicine.

How should I take hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medication with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medication. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan?

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of this medicine.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan, unless your doctor has told you to.

Hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • eye pain, vision problems;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • little or no urinating;

  • severe or ongoing diarrhea with weight loss;

  • chest pain, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine);

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • high potassium (slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling); or

  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling).

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, heartburn, mild diarrhea;

  • joint pain;

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • headache; or

  • dry cough.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 1 tablet (12.5 mg-20 mg) orally once a day.
Maintenance dose: Titrate as necessary up to a maximum of 25 mg-40 mg orally once a day following at least 2 weeks of therapy.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 1 tablet (12.5 mg-20 mg) orally once a day.
Maintenance dose: An increase from the initial dosage is not recommended for elderly patients.

What other drugs will affect hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan, especially:

  • any other diuretic or blood pressure medication;

  • lithium;

  • insulin or diabetes medicine you take by mouth;

  • a barbiturate--phenobarbital and others; cholesterol-lowering medicine--cholestyramine, colesevelam, or colestipol; steroids--prednisone and others; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others; or

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about hydrochlorothiazide and olmesartan.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 2013-07-03, 7:17:50 PM.

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