What is this medication?
Olmesartan+Hydrochlorothiazide, Olmetec Plus/Benicar HCT
Antihypertensive Agent, Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker; Thiazide Diuretic
Brand Name US: Benicar HCT
Canadian Equivalent: Olmetec Plus
Olmesartan+Hydrochlorothiazide is indicated for treatment of hypertension.
“ALERT: US Boxed Warning
When pregnancy is detected, discontinue olmesartan/hydrochlorothiazide as soon as possible. Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus.”
How does this medication work?
Angiotensin II constricts blood vessels and stimulates the release of aldosterone. Aldosterone increases sodium and water reabsorption which increases blood volume thereby elevating blood pressure. Olmesartan inhibits angiotensin II resulting in the opposite effect.
Hydrochlorothiazide lowers blood pressure by inhibiting sodium reabsorption in the distal tubules which causes increased loss of sodium, water, potassium, and hydrogen ions (lower blood volume results in decreased pressure). It is also believed to lower peripheral vascular resistance (by relaxing blood vessels).
How should I take this medication?
Olmesartan 20mg/hydrochlorothiazide 12.5mg once daily to a maximum of olmesartan 40mg/hydrochlorothiazide 25mg once daily.
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed. If dosing once daily, the morning is preferred to avoid nocturnal awakenings for urination.
You Need to Avoid: Careful standing up too quickly as you may get dizzy, and do not supplement with potassium unless instructed by physician and avoid excessive sun exposure or tanning bed usage.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Olmesartan+Hydrochlorothiazide, Olmetec Plus/Benicar HCT make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have kidney disease, an electrolyte imbalance, liver disease, adrenal insufficiency, diabetes, hypercalcemia, hypokalemia, hyperuricemia (gout), are pregnant, or breastfeeding
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Hypotension, renal function abnormality, dizziness, hyperkalemia, hypotension, dizziness, hypokalemia (low potassium), worsening of hyperuricemia (can result in gout attacks), skin photosensitivity
Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only relatively common ones.
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