Benicar Side Effects

Generic Name: olmesartan

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of olmesartan. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Benicar.

Not all side effects for Benicar may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to olmesartan: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by olmesartan (the active ingredient contained in Benicar). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking olmesartan:

Less common
  • Blood in the urine
  • body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cough or cough producing mucus
  • difficulty with breathing
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Bladder pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • chest pain
  • cloudy urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • lower back, side, or stomach pain
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
Incidence not known
  • Confusion
  • dark-colored urine
  • diarrhea (severe) with weight loss
  • dizziness
  • hives
  • itching
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • weakness or heaviness of the legs

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking olmesartan, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness
  • sweating

Some of the side effects that can occur with olmesartan may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common
  • Back pain
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • shivering
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • trouble sleeping
  • trouble swallowing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • difficulty with moving
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • rapid weight gain
  • rash
  • sensation of spinning
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • unusual weight gain or loss
Incidence not known
  • Hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • lack or loss of strength
  • redness of the skin
  • welts

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to olmesartan: oral tablet

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included dizziness (3% vs. 1% with placebo), vertigo (0.5% to 1% with placebo), and insomnia (0.5% to 1% with placebo). Asthenia has been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included cough (0.9% vs. 0.7% with placebo), bronchitis, rhinitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis, and upper respiratory tract infection.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects including abdominal pain, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, and nausea have been reported in 0.5% to 1% of patients. Vomiting has been reported in postmarketing experience. Diarrhea has been reported in more than 1% of patients but at the same or greater incidence than placebo.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects including tachycardia, chest pain, and peripheral edema have been reported in 0.5% to 1% of patients. At least 5 cases of facial edema and at least one case of olmesartan-induced angioedema, which resolved over 7 to 10 days after discontinuing olmesartan (the active ingredient contained in Benicar) have been reported.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have included hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia. Hyperkalemia has been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects including arthralgia, arthritis, myalgia, and skeletal pain have been reported in 0.5% to 1% of patients. Rhabdomyolysis have been reported during postmarketing experience in patients receiving angiotensin II receptor blockers.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included rash (0.5% to 1%), alopecia, pruritus, and urticaria.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects including urinary tract infection have been reported in 0.5% to 1% of patients. Hematuria has been reported in more than 1% of patients but at the same or greater incidence than placebo.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have rarely included liver enzyme and serum bilirubin elevations.[Ref]


Other side effects including back pain, increased creatine phosphokinase, headache, inflicted injury, influenza-like symptoms, and have been reported in more than 1% of patients but at the same or greater incidence than placebo. Fatigue and pain have been reported in 0.5% to 1% of patients.[Ref]


Renal side effects associated with ACE inhibitors have included increases in serum creatinine or BUN in patients with renal artery stenosis. Acute renal failure and increased serum creatinine levels have been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects including rare cases of angioedema and anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients receiving olmesartan (the active ingredient contained in Benicar) [Ref]


1. Brousil JA, Burke JM "Olmesartan medoxomil: An angiotensin II-receptor blocker." Clin Ther 25 (2003): 1041-55

2. "Product Information. Benicar (olmesartan)." Sankyo Parke Davis, Parsippany, NJ.

3. Nykamp D, Winter EE "Olmesartan medoxomil-induced angioedema." Ann Pharmacother 41 (2007): 518-20

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