Generic Name: olmesartan (OL me SAR tan)
Brand Name: Benicar
Medically reviewed on December 5, 2016
What is olmesartan?
Olmesartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Olmesartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Olmesartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children who are at least 6 years old. It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.
Olmesartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking olmesartan and tell your doctor right away. Olmesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take olmesartan if you are allergic to it.
If you have diabetes, do not use olmesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo).
You may also need to avoid taking olmesartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.
To make sure olmesartan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Olmesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.
It is not known whether olmesartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking olmesartan.
How should I take 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 olmesartan in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take olmesartan with or without food.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.
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 olmesartan?
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of olmesartan.
Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking olmesartan, unless your doctor has told you to.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
Olmesartan side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
little or no urination;
severe or ongoing diarrhea with weight loss;
chest pain, fast heart rate;
swelling in your hands or feet; or
high potassium--nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, loss of movement.
Common side effects may include:
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)
Olmesartan dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:
20 mg orally once a day; may increase dose to 40 mg in two weeks if further blood pressure reduction is needed.
Maximum dose: 40 mg orally once a day
-For patients with possible intravascular volume depletion (e.g., patients treated with diuretics, especially those with impaired renal function), initiate this drug under close supervision and give consideration to a lower starting dose.
-Twice daily dosing offers no additional benefit over the same total dose give once daily.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Hypertension:
6 to 16 years:
-20 to less than 35 kg: 10 mg orally once a day; may increase dose to 20 mg in two weeks if further blood pressure reduction is needed
-35 kg or more: 20 mg orally once a day; may increase dose to 40 mg in two weeks if further blood pressure reduction is needed
-For children who cannot swallow tablets, the same dose can be given using an extemporaneous suspension.
What other drugs will affect olmesartan?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with olmesartan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.04.
More about olmesartan
- Olmesartan Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
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- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: angiotensin receptor blockers
Other brands: Benicar