Benicar HCT(Olmesartan Medexomil/Hydrochlorothiazide)
Marketed as Olmetec Plus in United Kingdom
What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Benicar HCT Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is the force with which blood pushes against the walls of blood vessels. There are two components to any blood pressure reading. The first one is systolic pressure – the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats.
The second one is diastolic pressure – the pressure when the heart is at rest, in between beats. People with clinical hypertension have systolic pressure higher than 130 mmHg and diastolic pressure higher than 80 mmHg.
Some patients can successfully reduce high blood pressure through changes in their diet and regular physical exercise. If left untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.
Marketed Internationally as Olmetec HCT
In some countries, Benicar HCT is sold under the brand name Olmetec HCT.
Benicar HCT Active Ingredients
Generic Benicar HCT Alternative: Olmesartan Medexomil/ Hydrochlorothiazide
Benicar HCT is a combination medication containing two active ingredients: olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Olmesartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker. It relaxes blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic which increases urination, thus helping to eliminate excess water and salt from the body.
General Drug Information
What is Benicar HCT and What Is It Used For?
Benicar HCT is prescribed to patients with chronic high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Lowering blood pressure helps to prevent a number of serious complications, including heart attack, stroke, and kidney problems.
Usage and Application
Benicar HCT should be taken exactly as prescribed by a doctor. The dosage depends on the patient’s medical condition and response to treatment.
Most patients are prescribed one daily oral dose. This medication may cause some patients to urinate more frequently, therefore it is better that it is taken at least four hours before going to bed.
Patients who take drugs like cholestyramine, colesevelam or colestipol to lower cholesterol should take Benicar HCT at least four hours before – or at least four to six hours after – these medications.
It is important to take Benicar HCT regularly in order to experience its full benefit. To prevent forgetting, patients should take the medication at the same time every day. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick, but it is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well.
Patients should alert their doctor in the event their condition fails to improve or worsens.
Considerations Before Taking Benicar HCT
Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to Benicar HCT.
It is vital to discuss the patient’s medical history, especially related to liver disease, kidney disease, gout, and lupus. Problems with severe dehydration should also be discussed.
Benicar HCT may cause dizziness. Patients should not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires alertness until the effects of the medication are known and they are in a condition to do it safely.
Alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate dizziness, so patients should limit alcoholic beverages and discuss marijuana use with their doctor.
Patients should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Severe sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting may cause lightheadedness and increase the risk of serious dehydration. Patients should report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to their doctor.
Diabetic patients should be aware that Benicar HCT may affect blood sugar levels, therefore, it is important to check blood sugar regularly. Results should be reported to the treating physician, who may need to introduce changes to the patient’s diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This medication may increase sensitivity to the sun. Patients should limit sun exposure and avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. It is important to use sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors. Contact your doctor in the event of sunburn.
Benicar HCT may affect potassium levels in the body. Patients should consult their doctor or pharmacist before using any potassium supplements or salt substitutes.
Before having surgery or certain dental procedures performed, patients should tell their doctor or dentist about all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal products they are using.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially regarding dizziness and kidney problems.
Benicar HCT can cause harm to a fetus and is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Nursing mothers should consult their doctor before breastfeeding.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Benicar HCT should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up on the dose in order to catch up.
Other Medications and Benicar HCT
Drug interactions may change the way Benicar HCT works, increasing the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the full list of medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor. Patients should not change their dose or stop taking this medication unless their physician advises them to do so.
Some medications – such as the blood pressure medication Tekturna – may interact negatively with Benicar HCT. This is the case with lithium and dofetilide, a medication prescribed to patients with arrhythmia.
Benicar HCT may also interact negatively with medicines which increase levels of potassium in the blood. These include ACE inhibitors like benazepril and lisinopril, as well as birth control pills containing drospirenone.
Patients need to exercise caution when taking cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Naprosyn. These products can potentially raise blood pressure and create additional negative symptoms in patients with cardiovascular problems. Patients should discuss the safe use of such products with their pharmacist.
Benicar HCT may interfere with certain laboratory tests, causing false test results. This is the case with tests evaluating parathyroid function. Patients should inform the lab technician and the treating physician if they are taking Benicar HCT.
Most patients are able to use Benicar HCT safely and without serious negative side effects.
Common side effects include dizziness or lightheadedness, especially at the beginning of treatment, while the body adjusts to the medication. Patients should inform their doctor if these symptoms persist. When rising from a sitting or lying position, get up slowly to reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness.
This product may cause dehydration and loss of salt and minerals from the body. Patients should monitor for symptoms of dehydration or mineral loss. These include extreme thirst, dry mouth, muscle cramps, and weakness. Patients should also monitor for symptoms like confusion and irregular heartbeat.
Serious side effects include persistent diarrhea, changes in the amount of urine, fainting, decreased vision, and eye pain. Patients should also monitor for symptoms of high potassium blood levels, such as muscle weakness and irregular heartbeat. Seek immediate medical help in the event of such symptoms.
Serious allergic reactions to Benicar HCT are rare, yet patients should be aware of allergy symptoms such as rash, itching and swelling, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.
How to Store Benicar HCT
Benicar HCT should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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