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All about: Olmesartan

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Generic Name: Olmesartan (ol-meh-sar-tan)
Brand Name: Benicar

Olmesartan can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus when used after the third month of pregnancy. Stop using Olmesartan and contact your doctor at once if pregnancy is suspected.


Olmesartan is used for:

Treating high blood pressure, alone or with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Olmesartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. It works by inhibiting the action of a chemical transmitter (angiotensin II) and allowing the blood vessels to dilate (widen) and the kidneys to eliminate extra sodium and fluids. These actions combine to help lower blood pressure.

Do NOT use Olmesartan if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Olmesartan
  • you are pregnant, especially after the third month

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Olmesartan :

Some medical conditions may interact with Olmesartan . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver or kidney disease
  • if you have low sodium or fluid levels or are taking high doses of diuretics

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Olmesartan . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone) because the risk of their side effects, including elevated potassium levels, may be increased by Olmesartan

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Olmesartan may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Olmesartan :

Use Olmesartan as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Olmesartan by mouth with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Olmesartan , take it as soon as possible. If you are only taking one dose a day and do not remember your missed dose until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Olmesartan .

Important safety information:

  • Olmesartan may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Olmesartan with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
  • Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Olmesartan before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Olmesartan should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Olmesartan may cause fetal and newborn death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Olmesartan is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Olmesartan .

Possible side effects of Olmesartan :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abdominal/stomach pain; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; unusual tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fainting; increased heartbeat; lightheadedness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include rapid or unusually slow pulse; unusual dizziness or fainting.

Proper storage of Olmesartan :

Store Olmesartan at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Olmesartan out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Olmesartan , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Olmesartan is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is summary only. It does not contain all information about Olmesartan . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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