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Benicar HCTZ is an oral medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). By controlling high blood pressure, Benicar HCTZ helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. It is a combination of two medications: olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide.
Olmesartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). It works by blocking the action of a hormone called angiotensin II, which causes blood vessels to narrow, thus increasing blood pressure. As a result, the blood vessels are allowed to widen, making it easier for the blood to flow through them.
Hydrochlorothiazide, on the other hand, is a diuretic that helps the body get rid of excess salt and water, which also helps lower blood pressure. Together, the two components of the medication help to lower blood pressure, which can help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other health problems.
Use and Dosage
Benicar HCTZ is a tablet that is taken orally, as directed by your doctor. Usually, it is taken once a day, with or without food. If the tablet causes you to urinate frequently, take the tablet at least 4 hours before bedtime to reduce the need to urinate during the night. If you take other medications to lower your cholesterol, such as cholestyramine, colesevelam, or colestipol, take Benicar HCTZ at least 4 hours before or 4 to 6 hours after these medications.
The recommended dosage of Benicar HCTZ is determined by your healthcare provider based on your individual medical condition, response to treatment, and other factors. Typically, the starting dose for most people is one tablet (containing 20mg of olmesartan and 12.5mg of hydrochlorothiazide) taken once daily. Your doctor may adjust the dosage as needed, up to a maximum of one tablet (containing 40mg of olmesartan and 25mg of hydrochlorothiazide) taken once daily. Follow your doctor's instructions and do not change the dosage without consulting your doctor first.
Take Benicar HCTZ regularly to get the most benefit from it, and to take it at the same time each day to help you remember. Continue taking the medication even if you feel well, as most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
Common Side Effects of Benicar HCTZ (Olmesartan/Hctz):
- Change in sex drive or performance
- Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat
- High uric acid levels
- Upper respiratory infection
Serious Side Effects of Benicar HCTZ (Olmesartan/Hctz):
- Allergic reactions like: skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- Breathing problems
- Changes in vision
- Dark urine
- Eye pain
- Fast or irregular heartbeat, palpitations, or chest pain
- Feeling faint or lightheaded
- Muscle cramps
- Persistent dry cough
- Redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- Signs and symptoms of high blood sugar such as: being more thirsty, hungry, or having to urinate more than normal.
- Stomach pain
- Trouble passing urine
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Weight loss
- Worsened gout pain
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
Forms and Strength
Benicar HCTZ (Olmesartan/Hctz) is available in the following forms and strength:
Benicar HCTZ: Film Coated Tablet
- 20/12.5 mg
- 40/12.5 mg
- 20/25 mg
- 40/25 mg
- 20/12.5 mg
- 40/12.5 mg
- 40/25 mg
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, as the medication can harm an unborn baby.
- Do not take Benicar HCTZ if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
- Inform your doctor if you have kidney or liver problems, heart disease, or diabetes, as the medication may not be suitable for you.
- Be cautious if you are breastfeeding, as it is unknown whether Benicar HCTZ passes into breast milk.
- Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications, including over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and herbal remedies, as they may interact with Benicar HCTZ and cause potential side effects.
- Beware of lightheadedness or fainting that may occur, especially during the first few days of treatment or after a dose increase.
- Use caution when driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing other hazardous activities until you know how the medication affects you.
- Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, hives, or difficulty breathing.
- Be aware that Benicar HCTZ may cause dehydration, which in turn can lead to low blood pressure. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication.
- Avoid alcohol while taking this medication, as it may increase the risk of side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you experience any unusual or severe side effects, such as trouble breathing, chest pain, severe headaches, or changes in vision or hearing. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about taking Benicar HCTZ (Olmesartan/Hctz).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Benicar HCTZ cause weight gain?
Weight gain is not a common side effect of Benicar HCTZ. However, some people may experience fluid retention or electrolyte imbalances, which can cause weight gain. If you notice any unusual changes in your weight while taking Benicar HCTZ, talk to your doctor.
Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Benicar HCTZ?
Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of side effects while taking Benicar HCTZ. Avoid alcohol while taking this medication.
Can Benicar HCTZ cause hair loss?
Hair loss is not a typical side effect of Benicar HCTZ. However, if you experience any unusual hair loss while taking this medication, contact your doctor.
Can Benicar HCTZ cause coughing?
A dry, persistent cough is a common side effect of ACE inhibitors, another type of blood pressure medication. Benicar HCTZ is not an ACE inhibitor and typically does not cause coughing. However, if you experience a persistent cough while taking Benicar HCTZ, contact your doctor.
Is Benicar HCTZ safe for everyone to take?
Benicar HCTZ may not be suitable for everyone. Tell your doctor about your medical history and any other medications you are taking before taking Benicar HCTZ to make sure it is safe for you to use.
It's important to purchase Benicar HCTZ from verified Canadian pharmacy.