Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018
- Do not take if you are pregnant. Use during pregnancy may cause birth defects or loss of the unborn baby. If you get pregnant or plan on getting pregnant while taking Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide), call your doctor right away.
Uses of Benicar HCT:
- It is used to treat high blood pressure.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Benicar HCT?
- If you have an allergy to olmesartan, hydrochlorothiazide, or any other part of Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are taking dofetilide.
- If you are not able to pass urine.
- If you are taking a drug that has aliskiren in it and you also have high blood sugar (diabetes) or kidney problems. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if a drug you take has aliskiren in it.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Benicar HCT?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) affects you.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide).
- If you are taking a salt substitute that has potassium in it, a potassium-sparing diuretic, or a potassium product, talk with your doctor.
- If you are on a low-salt or salt-free diet, talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before using OTC products that may raise blood pressure. These include cough or cold drugs, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and some natural products or aids.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- If you are taking lithium, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while you are taking it with Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide).
- If you also take colesevelam, take it at least 4 hours after you take Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide).
- If you take cholestyramine or colestipol, talk with your pharmacist about how to take them with Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide).
- Be careful in hot weather or while being active. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
- Tell your doctor if you have too much sweat, fluid loss, throwing up, or loose stools. This may lead to low blood pressure.
- This medicine may make you sunburn more easily. Use care if you will be in the sun. Tell your doctor if you sunburn easily while taking this drug.
- Watch for gout attacks.
- If you have lupus, Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) can make your lupus active or get worse. Tell your doctor right away if you get any new or worse signs.
- This medicine may not work as well in black patients. Talk with the doctor.
How is this medicine (Benicar HCT) best taken?
Use Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- This medicine may cause you to pass urine more often. To keep from having sleep problems, try to take before 6 pm.
- Take Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) at the same time of day.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of fluid and electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad dizziness or passing out, fast heartbeat, more thirst, seizures, feeling very tired or weak, not hungry, unable to pass urine or change in the amount of urine produced, dry mouth, dry eyes, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Chest pain.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Loose stools (diarrhea) that will not go away.
- Very loose stools (diarrhea).
- A big weight loss.
- Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
- Fever or chills.
- Sore throat.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- This medicine can cause certain eye problems. If left untreated, this can lead to lasting eyesight loss. If eye problems happen, signs like change in eyesight or eye pain most often happen within hours to weeks of starting Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide). Call your doctor right away if you have these signs.
What are some other side effects of Benicar HCT?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Stuffy nose.
- Runny nose.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Benicar HCT?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Benicar HCT (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Benicar HCT (hydrochlorothiazide / olmesartan)
- Benicar HCT Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 26 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: angiotensin II inhibitors with thiazides