Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available



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Lowers blood pressure.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Benicar (Olmesartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function like an ACE inhibitor, but with fewer side effects.

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  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Similar to ACE inhibitors (like Lisinopril), with fewer side effects like cough and swelling.
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
  • Recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
  • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Not available in less expensive generic form.

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Side effects for Benicar (Olmesartan)

From clinical trials of Benicar / High blood pressure ( 4457)

  • DizzinessDizziness3% for Benicar vs.1% for placebo

What to expect when you start Benicar (Olmesartan)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Tell your doctor about any dizziness, fatigue, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
  • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
  • Don't take it if you're pregnant.

Risks and Warnings for Benicar (Olmesartan)

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  • Benicar (Olmesartan) can cause birth defects or death to a fetus. If you are pregnant or considering having a baby, talk to your doctor about alternative medicines.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Benicar (Olmesartan)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • My doctor changed my medication away from Benicar and I immediately had to eat a large number of potassium foods to make up the difference because blood tests showed I had low potassium with the new medication. It was necessary to log all the food I ate. I gained almost ten pounds in the first month. My doctor is changing me back to the Benicar as of today with blood tests due in November.
    Age: 73
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: High blood pressure
Kidneys & liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
Weight gain or loss
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Benicar (Olmesartan) has been reported to cause severe diarrhea and weight loss unexplained by other causes. Stay hydrated and notify your doctor if you continue to have more than 3-4 loose stools a day.