What is Benicar?
Olmesartan medoxomil is the Benicar generic name. It is an oral anti-hypertension medicine that belongs to the angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) drug class. It is used to treat and control high blood pressure in hypertensive individuals six years old and above. Also, this drug lowers the risk of getting heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.
This medication can be used as a single therapy pill or in combination with other drugs to treat high blood pressure.
How does Benicar work?
Angiotensin II is a powerful hormone that causes your blood vessels to constrict (veins, arteries, and capillaries). When angiotensin II is chemically activated, blood vessels constrict, causing blood pressure to rise, the cardiac workload to increase, and the blood flow in the body decreases.
With this medication, this drug functions as an angiotensin II receptor antagonist (also known as angiotensin II inhibitors). It suppresses the attachment of angiotensin II to angiotensin II receptors in vascular smooth muscles. As a result, it dilates blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and lowers blood pressure.
Individuals require varying amounts of this medication. This medicine is available in different oral strengths, depending on your need, age, weight, and tolerance:
- 10 mg per tablet
- 20 mg per tablet
- 40 mg per tablet
A 20 mg tablet once a day is the recommended adult dosage with hypertension. If you still need additional blood pressure relief after two weeks of starting this therapy, the maximum daily dose can be gradually increased to Benicar 40mg per tablet.
The initial starting dose for young people aged 6 to 16 with hypertension will be determined by their weight. A 10 mg tablet is indicated for children from 20 kg to 35 kg, while a 20 mg tablet is for children weighing more than 35 kg. If you still need to lower your blood pressure after two weeks, you can gradually increase the dosage to 20 mg and 40 mg, respectively.
Do not alter your dosage and frequency. Talk to your doctor first if you need to make any adjustments.
How to use Benicar?
Read all drug guidelines and information thoroughly. Take olmesartan medoxomil orally at the same time every day to avoid missing a dose. You can take it with or without regard to food.
If unable to swallow the entire pill, a pharmacist can mix and change it into a liquid suspension. Doing so can make it easier to administer the medication. The dosage remains the same as in tablet form.
Bear in mind to refrigerate the suspension and vigorously shake the mixture before using it. Furthermore, extemporaneous suspension only lasts up to four weeks. Do not use and discard this medication if it has beyond its expiration date.
If you ever forget to take your pill, take it as soon as you remember it. Marking your calendar may help you remember to take your medication. If it is already near your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule.
Apart from this regimen, lifestyle changes can be utilized as an adjunct therapy to lower blood pressure (e.g. eating a nutritious diet, frequent physical activity, quitting smoking, and lowering stress).
Benicar Side Effects
The following are the usual side effects of olmesartan medoxomil:
- Back pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Increased blood sugar levels
The following are the adverse effects that prompt the need to seek medical attention:
- Severe diarrhea
- High potassium symptoms: muscle weakness, irregular heart rate, chest pain
- Kidney problem symptoms: changes in the amount of urine
- Unexplained weight gain
- Swelling (face, lips, throat, extremities)
Note that this list does not include all of Benicar’s potential side effects. Other unwanted outcomes are possible.
Benicar vs Losartan
Both of these drugs are the preferred therapy for decreasing blood pressure. The mechanism of action is almost the same because of its angiotensin blocker properties. However, Benicar’s effect can last up to 24 hours, unlike Losartan which cannot provide full coverage all through the day. Benicar comes in 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg strengths, while Losartan comes in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg.
Before you start using this medication:
- If you have a high potassium level in your blood, dehydration, liver or kidney problems, inform your doctor right away. Doing so can keep your current medical condition from worsening.
- Do not take this medication if you are allergic to olmesartan medoxomil or other ingredients. When using this medication, watch out for adverse reactions such as rashes, hives, swelling of the face and lips, throat tightness, or difficulty breathing. As soon as these signs and symptoms occur, you should call your doctor.
- Inform your doctor if you are on potassium supplements or salt replacements containing potassium. This medication can raise your potassium levels which can be dangerous if taken in excess.
- Do not use this drug if you are on medications containing aliskiren; Benicar may interact with them and have significant health implications.
- Inform your doctor if you are using diuretics, NSAIDs, or lithium to avoid any drug interactions with olmesartan medoxomil.
- If you have diabetes, avoid taking this medication since it may cause your blood sugar levels to rise.
- Be sure to monitor your laboratory results and blood pressure levels, to effectively manage the side effects of the medication.
- Since this drug may cause dizziness, avoid activities that require alertness to prevent accidents, such as driving or operating machinery.
- Store this medication properly. Refrigerate when necessary, and discard drugs that have passed their expiration date.
How much does Benicar cost?
The price of Benicar is very reasonable for its effectiveness. You can purchase this medication without difficulty from our online drug store.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Benicar safe to use during pregnancy?
Benicar is not recommended during pregnancy. It can harm the unborn baby, and in the worst-case scenario, it can be fatal.
How fast does it take for Benicar to lower blood pressure?
According to clinical studies, it varies from person to person, but Benicar can reduce high blood pressure within seven days of starting this therapy and control it in two weeks.
How long does the effect of Benicar last?
The effects of Benicar can linger for up to 24 hours.
When is the most appropriate time to take Benicar?
To fully benefit from Benicar’s therapeutic effect, take it regularly, with or without food. It is best to take it before going to bed to help people experiencing dizziness or lightheadedness.