Benicar HCT

Benicar HCT treats high blood pressure. This medication has two components, olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Do not take this medication while pregnant.

Benicar HCT Overview

Reviewed: June 5, 2013
Updated: 

Benicar HCT is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure. Benicar HCT is a single product containing 2 medications: olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Olmesartan is in a class of medications called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the action of certain natural substances that tighten the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more smoothly and the heart to pump more efficiently. Hydrochlorothiazide belongs to a group of drugs called thiazide diuretics, which work by stopping reabsorption of salt into your body. This prevents fluid from building up in the body.

This medication comes in tablet form. It is taken once daily, with or without food.

Common side effects include nausea, a condition of excess of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia), dizziness, and an infection that affects the nose, throat, and airways (upper respiratory tract infection).

 

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Benicar HCT Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Benicar HCT

Benicar HCT is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. 

Manufacturer

Benicar HCT Drug Class

Benicar HCT is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Benicar HCT

Serious side effects have been reported with Benicar HCT. See the "Benicar HCT Precautions" section. 

Common side effects of Benicar HCT include the following:

  • nausea
  • a condition of excess of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia)
  • dizziness
  • an infection that affects the nose, throat, and airways (upper respiratory tract infection)

This is not a complete list of Benicar HCT side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. 

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. 

Benicar HCT Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • colesevelam (Welchol)
  • angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) like valsartan (Diovan), ACE inhibitors (ACE) like enalapril (Vasotec, Vaseretic), or aliskiren (Tekturna)
  • alcohol, a class of drugs called barbiturates, or a type of pain medications called narcotics
  • diabetic medications
  • cholestyramine (Questran) and colestipol (Colestid)
  • medicines that provide relief for inflamed areas of the body (corticosteroids) such as methylprednisolone (Medrol) and dexamethasone (Decadron)
  • substances that raise blood pressure (pressor amines) such as norepinephrine (Levophed)
  • medicines that relax skeletal muscles such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and carisoprodol (Soma)
  • lithium (Lithobid)
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil)

This is not a complete list of Benicar HCT drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. 

Benicar HCT Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Benicar HCT or its ingredients including the following:

  • Harm to an unborn baby (fetal toxicity). Do not take Benicar HCT if you are pregnant or will become pregnant.
  • Low blood pressure
  • Severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss (sprue-like enteropathy)
  • Allergic reactions. More likely with a history of allergic reactions. 
  • A condition in which close objects appear clearly, but far ones don't (myopia) or a buildup of pressure in the eye that can cause blindness (glaucoma). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience  visual changes or eye pain.
  • An autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue (systemic lupus erythematosus)
  • Imbalances in the levels of salts and fluids in your body (electrolyte and fluid imbalance). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms:
    • dry mouth
    • thirst
    • weakness
    • drowsiness
    • restlessness
    • muscle pains or cramps
    • low blood pressure
    • low output of urine
    • fast heart rate
    • nausea
    • vomiting
  • A condition of excess of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia)
  • Painful joint(s) (gout)
  • Increases in cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels 

Do not take Benicar HCT if you:

  • are allergic to Benicar HCT or any of its ingredients or sulfonamide-derived drugs
  • your kidneys do not produce urine (anuria)
  • are a diabetic patient who is taking aliskiren

Benicar HCT Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Benicar HCT, salt substitutes containing potassium should be avoided. 

Inform MD

Before taking Benicar HCT, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if:

  • are allergic to Benicar HCT or any of its ingredients or sulfonamide-derived drugs
  • have liver disease
  • your kidneys do not produce urine (anuria) or you have kidney disease
  • are a diabetic patient, especially if you are taking aliskiren
  • you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell you doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. 

 

Benicar HCT and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Benicar HCT falls into category D. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue Benicar HCT as soon as possible. Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the unborn baby.

Benicar HCT and Lactation

Tell your doctor is you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. 

It is not known if Benicar HCT crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with the use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Benicar HCT. 

Benicar HCT Usage

  • Take Benicar HCT exactly as prescribed. 
  • Benicar HCT comes in a tablet form and is taken by mouth once daily with or without food. 

Benicar HCT Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. 

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • your blood pressure
  • previous medications used and the doses tried
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended starting dose of Benicar HCT to treat high blood pressure is one 20 mg/12.5 mg tablet once daily. The maximum dose is 40 mg/25 mg once daily.

Benicar HCT Overdose

If you take too much Benicar HCT, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away. 

Other Requirements

  • Store at 68-77°F (20-25°C).
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children. 

Benicar HCT FDA Warning

Warning: Fetal Toxicity

  • When pregnancy is detected, discontinue Benicar HCT as soon as possible.
  • Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus.