What is olmesartan?
Olmesartan is in a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Olmesartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Olmesartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.
Olmesartan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to olmesartan.
Before using olmesartan, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- congestive heart failure; or
- if you are dehydrated.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.
FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Olmesartan may cause injury and even death to the unborn baby if you take it during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Do not use olmesartan without your doctor’s consent if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether olmesartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood pressure and may increase some of the side effects of olmesartan.
Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking olmesartan, unless your doctor has told you to.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include fast or slow heartbeat, dizziness, or feeling like you might pass out.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, olmesartan can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, nausea or vomiting, and dark colored urine.
Call your doctor at once if you have any other serious side effect, such as:
- feeling like you might pass out;
- painful or difficult urination;
- urinating less than usual or not at all;
- chest pain, fast heart rate;
- swelling in your hands or feet; or
- slow heart rate, weak pulse, tingly feeling.
Less serious side effects may include:
- runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough;
- joint pain;
- back pain;
- stomach pain, diarrhea;
- headache, dizziness;
- mild itching or skin rash;
- weakness; or
- increased sweating.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking olmesartan, tell your doctor if you are also taking a diuretic (water pill).
There may be other drugs that can interact with olmesartan. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Benicar and olmesartan
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