Benicar HCT

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|Benicar HCT

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OLMESARTAN AND HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE (Systemic)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Benicar HCT

Not commercially available in Canada.

Category

  • Antihypertensive

Description

olmesartan (ol-ma-SAR-tan) and hydrochlorothiazide (hye-droe-klor-oh-THYE-a-zide) is a combination medicine that belongs to the class of medicines called high blood pressure medicines (antihypertensives). It is used 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. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.

Olmesartan works by blocking a substance in the body that causes blood vessels to tighten. As a result, olmesartan relaxes blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. Hydrochlorothiazide helps reduce the amount of salt and water in the body by acting on the kidneys to increase the flow of urine; this also helps to lower blood pressure.

This combination also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage form(s):

  • Oral
  • Tablets (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

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 olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to olmesartan or to hydrochlorothiazide or any of the other thiazide diuretics (water pills) or to sulfa drugs. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, sulfites or other preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Use of olmesartan during pregnancy, especially after the first 3 months, can cause low blood pressure, kidney failure, too much potassium, or death in newborns. Additionally, when hydrochlorothiazide is used during pregnancy, it may cause jaundice, blood problems, and other side effects in the newborn baby. Therefore, it is important that you check with your doctor immediately if you think that you may be pregnant

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether olmesartan passes into breast milk. However, it does pass into the milk of lactating rats. Hydrochlorothiazide does pass into breast milk. Be sure that you discuss this with your doctor if you decide to breast-feed while taking these medicines.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults. However, older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide and should be monitored by the doctor.

Other 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. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine. When you are taking olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking the following:

  • Lithium (e.g., Lithane, Lithobid)—Hydrochlorothiazide may increase blood levels of lithium, which may increase the risk of adverse reactions

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of [drug name]. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Fluid or electrolyte (e.g., potassium, chloride, sodium) imbalance (due to excessive perspiration, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.)—The side effects of olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide may be increased.
  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) or
  • Gout or
  • Hyperglycemia or
  • Hyperuricemia—These conditions may be made worse by hydrochlorothiazide.
  • Hypersensitivity to olmesartan, hydrochlorothiazide, sulfa drugs or any of its components
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—These conditions may be aggravated by olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide
  • Sympathectomy—Blood pressure-lowering effects may be increased
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)—Symptoms of this condition may be made worse with use of hydrochlorothiazide

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—The dose of olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide 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 olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of tablets 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 taking olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—1 tablet (20 mg/12.5 mg) 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—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store at room temperature.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Check with your doctor immediately if you think that you may be pregnant . Olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide may cause birth defects or other problems in the baby if taken during pregnancy.

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor . This especially includes potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, since they may change your blood potassium levels, or over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, since they may tend to increase your blood pressure.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur with this medicine. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you experience these effects.

Use extra care during exercise or hot weather. Heavy sweating can cause loss of too much water and result in low blood pressure

Check with your doctor right away if you become sick while taking this medicine, especially with severe or continuing nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water and lead to low blood pressure.

Avoid alcoholic beverages until you have discussed their use with your doctor. Alcohol may make the low blood pressure effect worse and/or increase the possibility of dizziness or fainting.

For diabetic patients :

  • Hydrochlorothiazide may raise blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor if any changes in your blood sugar levels occur.

Side Effects of This Medicine

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.

Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia or bladder cancer. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Symptoms of fluid and electrolyte imbalance

Dry mouth; increased thirst; weak and/or irregular heartbeat; muscle cramps or pain; nausea or vomiting; unusual tiredness or weakness

Other 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. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

More common

Chest pain; chills; cough ; dizziness; ear congestion or pain ; fever; head congestion ; hoarseness or other voice changes ; nasal congestion; runny nose ; sneezing ; sore throat

Less common

Joint pain stiffness, or swelling; lower back, side, or stomach pain ; swelling of face, feet or lower legs

Incidence unknown

Acid or sour stomach; belching; blood in urine; convulsions; decrease in amount of urine; diarrhea; difficult breathing; difficulty in moving; dizziness; dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position; fainting; feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings ; fruit-like breath odor; heartburn; increased hunger; indigestion; joint pain ; large amount of fat in the blood; loss of appetite; mood changes; muscle pain or stiffness ; nervousness; numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips; numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet; pain in lower back or side; rash; redness in joints; seizures; sensation of spinning; shortness of breath; stomach discomfort upset or pain; swelling or puffiness of face; thirst; tingling of hands or feet; trembling; weakness or heaviness of legs

Developed: 08/05/2005

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