Olmesartan

Olmesartan treats high blood pressure. This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Avoid salt substitutes containing potassium.

Olmesartan Overview

Reviewed: May 23, 2013
Updated: 

Olmesartan is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure in adults and children over 6 years old. Olmesartan belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which block a substance in the body that increases blood pressure. Olmesartan causes blood to flow more smoothly and makes the heart more efficient at pumping blood.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with or without food.

Common side effects of olmesartan include low blood pressure and headache. Olmesartan can cause dizziness.  Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how olmesartan affects you.

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Olmesartan Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Olmesartan

Olmesartan is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children over 6 years old.  

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

Olmesartan Brand Names

Olmesartan may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Olmesartan Drug Class

Olmesartan is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Olmesartan

Common side effects of olmesartan include:

  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • fainting
  • headache

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

Serious side effects have been reported with olmesartan. See “Olmesartan Precautions” section.

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

Olmesartan Interactions

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

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

 

Olmesartan Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with olmesartan including:

  • harm to unborn child: Do not take olmesartan if you are pregnant. See the "Olmesartan and Pregnancy" section.
  • extremely Low blood pressure (hypotension) in sodium or salt-depleted patients: Tell your doctor if you have a history of low salt (electrolyte) or sodium levels.  Call your doctor if you experience one or more of the following symptoms of low blood pressure:
    • fainting
    • dizziness
    • lightheadedness
  • reduced kidney function: Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney or heart disease. Olmesartan may impair kidney function, particularly in those who have kidney disease, congestive heart failure (CHF), the elderly, or people taking NSAIDS or diuretics. Your doctor may require simple blood tests while you are taking this medication, to monitor your kidney function. Tell your doctor right away if you experience signs of reduced kidney function:
    • swelling of feet, ankles, hands, or legs
    • decreased urination
  • hypersensitivity reaction: An allergic reaction to olmesartan is possible.  Call your doctor if you experience one or more of the following symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction:
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • hoarseness
    • swelling
  • severe diarrhea and weight loss (Sprue-like Enteropathy). Severe, chronic diarrhea with considerable weight loss may develop months to years after starting olmesartan. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Olmesartan can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how olmesartan affects you.

Do not take olmesartan if you take aliskiren (Tekturna) and have diabetes.

Olmesartan Food Interactions

Medicines 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 olmesartan, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving olmesartan.

Talk to your doctor before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes while taking olmesartan, as this can cause levels of potassium in the blood to rise to dangerous levels.

 

 

Inform MD

Before taking olmesartan, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have a history of low salt (electrolyte) or sodium levels
  • have a history of kidney, liver, or heart disease
  • have diabetes
  • take aliskiren (Tekturna)
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

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

Olmesartan 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.

Olmesartan falls into category D. There is evidence of risk to the unborn baby based on studies in humans or adverse reaction data. This medication may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn baby.

Olmesartan and Lactation

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

It is not known if olmesartan is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Olmesartan Usage

  • Take olmesartan exactly as prescribed.
  • This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of olmesartan at the same time.

Olmesartan Dosage

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

The starting olmesartan dose for adults is usually 20 mg. The dosage range for adults is 20 to 40 mg each day. Dosages over 40 mg do not appear to have an increased effect in treating high blood pressure. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose of olmesartan depending on the severity of your high blood pressure and your response to the medication.

The starting dose for children between 6 and 16 years old is 10 to 20 mg olmesartan. The dosage range for children is 10 to 40 mg each day. The doctor will determine the dose appropriate for a child depending on their body weight and response to the medication.

Olmesartan Overdose

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

If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store olmesartan at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Olmesartan FDA Warning

WARNING: FETAL TOXICITY

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