What is Benicar HCT?Benicar HCT is a combination drug of olmesartan medoxomil (an angiotensin receptor blocker) and hydrochlorothiazide, which is a diuretic (water pill). It is used for the treatment of high blood pressure. This combination drug is not intended to be used as the first blood pressure medicine you receive; it is used after other therapies have not been effective.
What is the most important information I should know about Benicar HCT?The use of this drug during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy has been shown to cause injury and even death to the developing baby. After consulting your doctor, it is important to discontinue treatment with this drug if you are or plan to become pregnant.
Lightheadedness may occur when you first start Benicar HCT therapy. Diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and excessive heat exposure and sweating may cause your blood pressure to drop rapidly and may cause dizziness and fainting. If you experience lightheadedness or a brief loss of consciousness, discontinue this medication until you notify your doctor.
Hydrochlorothiazide, a component of Benicar HCT, may cause severe skin rashes. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any form of rash.
Hydrochlorothiazide, a component of Benicar HCT, may increase the levels of cholesterol and fat in your blood. Your doctor should monitor these levels while you are taking Benicar HCT.
Diabetic patients may need dosage adjustments for their diabetic medications since hydrochlorothiazide may cause an increase in sugar levels.
Inadequate oral electrolyte intake may lead to decreased potassium levels, which may cause an irregular heartbeat.
Benicar, when taken with other blood pressure medications or diuretics, may cause a severe drop in blood pressure. Symptoms include feeling faint, weak, or lightheaded.
Who should not take Benicar HCT?Do not take Benicar HCT if you are unable to produce urine (anuria) or have had a previous allergy to sulfur-containing drugs.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Benicar HCT?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Benicar. Specifically inform your doctor if you are taking lithium. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, including whether you have liver problemss, or if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dose is 20 milligrams (mg) olmesartan/12.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide once daily. Your doctor may give you a higher dose if your blood pressure is not stabilized.
How should I take Benicar HCT?Take one tablet once daily with or without food as directed.
What should I avoid while taking Benicar HCT?Avoid becoming pregnant and nursing while taking Benicar HCT.
It is important to avoid dehydration or excessive exposure to heat and sweating as this may cause a severe drop in blood pressure.
Alcohol use may increase the effects of Benicar HCT and should therefore be avoided unless you have discussed its use with your doctor.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Benicar HCT?If Benicar HCT is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Benicar HCT with the following: alcohol, barbiturates, other blood pressure medications, cholestyramine, colestipol, corticosteroids, insulin, lithium, metformin, morphine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen, norepinephrine, oxycontin, and tubocurarine.
What are the possible side effects of Benicar HCT?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: nausea, dizziness, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, rash, headache, decrease in potassium levels
Can I receive Benicar HCT if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The use of Benicar HCT is not recommended in women who are or may become pregnant. If you are a woman of childbearing age, it is advisable to use contraception while taking Benicar HCT due to the potential harm to the unborn baby. If you are pregnant, discontinue treatment and consult with your doctor. Contact your doctor if you plan on breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Benicar HCT?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time of your next dose, skip it and resume your scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Benicar HCT?Store at room temperature.
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