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Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil) is a medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure, or hypertension. It belongs to the family of drugs known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Benicar works by blocking the action of certain natural substances that tighten and narrow blood vessels, thereby allowing blood to flow more freely. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure and helps to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Olmesartan medoxomil is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist used to treat hypertension in adults and children six years of age and older. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions. By reducing blood pressure, the risk of these conditions can be minimized, and the overall health of the patient improved.
Uses and Dosage
Benicar (olmesartan) comes in the form of tablets. It is available in three different prescription strengths: 10 milligrams, 20 milligrams, and 40 milligrams. The tablets are imprinted with the words "SANKYO" and "C15". The dosage must be individualized to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.
The usual recommended starting dose of Benicar for adults with hypertension is 20 mg once daily when used as monotherapy. For patients requiring further reduction in blood pressure after 2 weeks of therapy, the dose of Benicar may be increased to 40 mg. Doses above 40 mg do not appear to have a greater effect, and twice-daily dosing offers no advantage over the same total dose given once daily.
For pediatric patients aged 6 years and older with hypertension, the recommended starting dose of Benicar is 10 mg once daily for patients who weigh 20 to <35 kg (44 to 77 lb), or 20 mg once daily for patients who weigh ≥35 kg. If further reduction in blood pressure is needed after 2 weeks of therapy, the dose of Benicar may be increased to a maximum of 20 mg once daily for patients who weigh <35 kg or 40 mg once daily for patients who weigh ≥35 kg.
Rare but Serious Side Effects of Olmesartan Medoxomil Includes
- Bladder pain
- Swelling or bloating of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- Chest pain
- Cloudy urine
- Difficult, burning, or painful urination
- Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- Lower back, side, or stomach pain
- Swelling of the feet or lower legs
Common Side Effects of Olmesartan Medoxomil
- Back pain
- Increase of creatinine phosphokinase (CPK)
- Blood in urine
- High blood sugar
- Elevated triglyceride levels (fat in the blood)
- Flu-like symptoms
- Inflammation of pharynx or back of throat
- Inflammation of mucous membrane inside the nose
Form and Strength
Benicar and its generic alternative of Olmesartan Medoxomil are available in the following forms and strengths:
Benicar: Film Coated Tablet
- 10 mg
- 20 mg
- 40 mg
Olmesartan Medoxomil: Tablet
- 20 mg
- 40 mg
- Using this medicine while pregnant can be harmful to the unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Be aware that dizziness or lightheadedness may occur after the first dose of this medicine, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before driving, using machines, or doing any other activity that could be dangerous if you are feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Check with your doctor right away if you or your child becomes sick while taking this medicine, especially if you experience severe or continuing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These conditions can cause you to lose too much water, leading to low blood pressure.
- Olmesartan may cause dizziness, caution when driving, operating machinery, or engaging in any activity that requires alertness or clear vision.
- Alcohol and marijuana (cannabis) can increase the risk of dizziness, so limit alcoholic beverages and consult a doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil) interact with other drugs?
Yes. Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil) may interact with other medications such as diuretics, potassium supplements, lithium, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is important to speak with your doctor or pharmacist regarding drug interactions.
What is the recommended dosage for Benicar?
The recommended starting dose of Benicar is 20mg once daily. Your doctor may adjust the dosage based on your response to the medication. It is important to take the medication exactly as prescribed.
How long does it take for Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil) to start working?
The effects of Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil) can be seen within 1-2 weeks of starting the medication. However, it may take up to 4-6 weeks to achieve the maximum effect.
Is there a generic version of Benicar?
Yes, there is a generic version of Benicar available. The generic version is called olmesartan medoxomil and is available at a lower cost than the brand-name version.
It's important to purchase Benicar from verified Canadian pharmacy.