- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
What is Benicar HCT, and what is it used for?
Benicar HCT (olmesartan medoxomil-hydrochlorothiazide) is a combination of an angiotensin II receptor antagonist and a thiazide diuretic (water pill) used to treat the symptoms of high blood pressure (hypertension).
Benicar HCT may be used alone or with other medications. It is not known if Benicar HCT is safe and effective in children.
What are the side effects of Benicar HCT?
Benicar HCT may cause serious side effects including:
- muscle pain,
- tenderness or weakness,
- unusual tiredness,
- dark-colored urine,
- eye pain,
- vision problems,
- yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice),
- easy bruising,
- unusual bleeding,
- little or no urination,
- painful or difficult urination,
- swelling in your feet or ankles,
- shortness of breath,
- slurred speech,
- severe weakness,
- loss of coordination,
- feeling unsteady,
- slow or unusual heart rate,
- loss of movement,
- leg cramps,
- irregular heartbeats,
- fluttering in your chest,
- increased thirst or urination, and
- numbness or tingling
Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
The most common side effects of Benicar HCT include:
Tell the doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Benicar HCT. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the dosage for Benicar HCT?
- The recommended starting dose of Benicar HCT is 40/12.5 mg once daily in patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled with olmesartan monotherapy. Dose can be titrated up to 40 /25 mg if necessary.
- The recommended starting dose of Benicar HCT is 20/12.5 mg once daily in patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled with HCT monotherapy or who experience dose-limiting adverse reactions with hydrochlorothiazide. Dose can be titrated up to 40 /25 mg if necessary.
- Patients titrated to the individual components (olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) may instead receive the corresponding dose of Benicar HCT.
What drugs interact with Benicar HCT?
Agents Increasing Serum Potassium
- Coadministration of Benicar HCT with other drugs that raise serum potassium levels may result in hyperkalemia. Monitor serum potassium in such patients.
- Increases in serum lithium concentrations and lithium toxicity have been reported during concomitant administration of lithium with angiotensin II receptor antagonists or hydrochlorothiazide. Monitor serum lithium levels during concomitant use.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents including Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitors (COX-2 Inhibitors )
- In patients who are elderly, volume-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with compromised renal function, co-administration of NSAIDs, including selective COX-2 inhibitors, with angiotensin II receptor antagonists (including olmesartan medoxomil) may result in deterioration of renal function, including possible acute renal failure. These effects are usually reversible. Monitor renal function periodically in patients receiving olmesartan medoxomil and NSAID therapy.
- The antihypertensive effect of angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including olmesartan medoxomil may be attenuated by NSAIDs including selective COX-2 inhibitors.
- In some patients the administration of a NSAID can reduce the diuretic, natriuretic, and antihypertensive effects of thiazide diuretics. Therefore, monitor blood pressure closely.
Dual Blockade of The Renin Angiotens in System
- Dual blockade of the RAS with angiotensin receptor blockers, ACE inhibitors, or aliskiren is associated with increased risks of hypotension, hyperkalemia, and changes in renal function (including acute renal failure) compared to monotherapy.
- Most patients receiving the combination of two RAS inhibitors do not obtain any additional benefit compared to monotherapy. In general, avoid combined use of RAS inhibitors. Closely monitor blood pressure, renal function and electrolytes in patients on Benicar HCT and other agents that affect the RAS.
- Do not co-administer aliskiren with Benicar HCT in patients with diabetes. Avoid use of aliskiren with Benicar HCT in patients with renal impairment (GFR < 60 ml/min).
- Concurrent administration of bile acid sequestering agent colesevelam hydrochloride reduces the systemic exposure and peak plasma concentration of olmesartan. Administration of olmesartan at least 4 hours prior to colesevelam hydrochloride decreased the drug interaction effect. Consider administering olmesartan at least 4 hours before the colesevelam hydrochloride dose.
Use of Hydrochlorothiazide with Other Drugs
- When administered concurrently the following drugs may interact with thiazide diuretics:
- Antidiabetic drugs (oral agents and insulin): Dosage adjustment of the antidiabetic drug may be required.
- Ion exchange resins: Staggering the dosage of hydrochlorothiazide and ion exchange resins (e.g., cholestyramine, colestipol) such that hydrochlorothiazide is administered at least 4 hours before or 4 – 6 hours after the administration of resins would potentially minimize the interaction.
- Corticosteroids, ACTH: Intensified electrolyte depletion, particularly hypokalemia.
Benicar HCT contraindications, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety
- Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity, and death. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death.
- It is not known whether olmesartan is excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for adverse effects on the nursing infant, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue Benicar HCT, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
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Related Disease Conditions
What Is the Normal Blood Pressure Range?
Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. Although the average blood pressure for a person remains constant, it shows minor fluctuations throughout the day—declining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in the resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
Why Is My Bottom Blood Pressure Number High?
Isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH) occurs when your systolic blood pressure is normal, and only your diastolic blood pressure is high (over 80 mm Hg). Causes of high diastolic blood pressure include a high-sodium diet, obesity, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, stress and anxiety.
How to Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately
If you face any complications of high blood pressure such as a stroke or heart attack, contact your physician without any delay. Do not attempt home remedies in such grave situations. If you have high blood pressure, without any complications, the first thing to do is to calm down and lie flat.
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include light-headedness, dizziness, and fainting if not enough blood is getting to the brain. Diseases and medications can also cause low blood pressure. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys; the organs do not function normally and may be permanently damaged.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms. Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure. The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater. If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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What Causes Your Blood Pressure to Suddenly Get High?
Hypertension or high blood pressure (high BP) is a medical condition where the pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. The heart pumps blood into the arteries, and it is circulated to all parts of the body. Hypertension develops when the heart constantly needs to exert higher force to deliver the blood to the organs through the arteries.
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How Is Diastolic Hypertension Treated?
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Which Blood Pressure Number Is the Most Important?
The blood that flows through the arteries (blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to other parts of the body) exerts pressure against the arterial walls. The number above (120) is called the systolic blood pressure and the number below (80) is called the diastolic blood pressure. Though both readings are important, many doctors believe that systolic blood pressure is a better predictor of complications of hypertension, such as heart disease or stroke.
What Causes Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?
Portal hypertension is most commonly caused by cirrhosis, a disease that results from scarring of the liver. Other causes of portal hypertension include blood clots in the portal vein, blockages of the veins that carry the blood from the liver to the heart, and a parasitic infection called schistosomiasis. Symptoms of portal hypertension include varices (enlarged veins), vomiting blood, blood in the stool, black and tarry stool, ascites (abnormal fluid collection within the peritoneum, the sac that contains the intestines within the abdominal cavity), confusion and lethargy, splenomegaly or enlargement of the spleen, and decreased white blood cell counts.
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Hypertension-Related Kidney Disease
Second Source WebMD Medical Reference
Why Does Alcohol Cause Hypertension?
Alcoholic beverages are regular drinks in most parts of the world. No one knows how alcohol causes hypertension, but it may be due to the effects of alcohol endothelium, nervous system, cortisol levels or other body systems.
Is a Diastolic Blood Pressure of 64 mmHg too Low?
Diastolic blood pressure means the blood pressure reading during the phase when your heart relaxes (diastole). Force of the blood against the walls of the arteries (the blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to other sites) in the body is called blood pressure. The heart pumps the blood into the arteries as it contracts (systole).
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Pulmonary hypertension is elevated pressure in the pulmonary arteries that carry blood from the lungs to the heart. The most common symptoms are fatigue and difficulty breathing. If the condition goes undiagnosed, more severe symptoms may occur. As pulmonary hypertension worsens, some people with the condition have difficulty performing any activities that require physical exertion. While there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, it can be managed and treated with medications and supplemental oxygen to increase blood oxygen levels.
Hypertensive Kidney Disease
High blood pressure can damage the kidneys and is one of the leading causes of kidney failure (end-stage renal kidney disease). Kidney damage, like hypertension, can be unnoticeable and detected only through medical tests. If you have kidney disease, you should control your blood pressure. Other treatment options include prescription medications.
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Low blood pressure (hypotension) occurs when blood pressure drops below the normal range. Low blood pressure can be temporary, or it can be a chronic (long-lasting) condition.
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Can High Blood Pressure Hurt My Eyes?
Unfortunately, yes. Suffering from untreated or poorly controlled high blood pressure for a long time can be detrimental to your eyes. Several eye diseases are directly or indirectly caused by high blood pressure (hypertension).
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The force of the blood against the walls of the blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to other sites in the body (the arteries) is called blood pressure. The heart pumps blood into the arteries as it contracts (systole).
What Are the New Blood Pressure Guidelines for Seniors?
Hypertension or high blood pressure (high BP) is a medical condition where the pressure in the blood vessels is persistently elevated. The heart pumps blood into the arteries, which circulate blood to all parts of the body. In cases of high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to push the blood column ahead.
Pseudotumor Cerebri (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension)
Pseudotumor Cerebri (intracranial hypertension) is a condition where there is an increase in pressure of fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) mimicing a brain tumor. The cause is unknown. The most common symptom is headache but also include eye-pain, vision loss and double vision. Pseudotumor cerebri is diagnosed with MRI or CAT scans and treated by discontinuing offending medications (if applicable), weight loss and diuretic medications. The condition can also be helped by repeated drainage of spinal fluid using the lumbar puncture.
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What Is “Normal” Blood Pressure?
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High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. In some patients, symptoms may include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, confusion, sweating, chest pain and vision problems.
Hypertension-Induced Chronic Kidney Disease
Hypertension-induced chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-standing kidney condition that develops over time due to persistent or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension).
Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension)
Preeclampsia is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia typically begins after the 20th week of pregnancy. When preeclampsia causes seizures, it is termed "eclampsia" and is the second leading cause of maternal death of in the US. Preeclampsia is the leading cause of fetal complications. Risk factors for preeclampsia include high blood pressure, obesity, multiple births, and women with preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma. Pregnancy planning and lifestyle changes may reduce the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy.
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Is Pseudotumor Cerebri the Same as Intracranial Hypertension?
Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) is also called idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). The condition causes symptoms similar to a brain tumor.
What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
High blood pressure or hypertension is when the blood pressure readings consistently range from 140 or higher for systolic or 90 or higher for diastolic. Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.
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