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This blood pressure medication is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and reduce the risk of developing fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular issues like strokes.

The medication combines olmesartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist, with hydrochlorothiazide, a thiazide diuretic. The olmesartan helps reduce blood pressure by inhibiting the binding of angiotensin II to a specific receptor in your vascular smooth muscle which affects your blood vessels and cardiovascular system functions. Hydrochlorothiazide increases the amount of sodium and chloride that you excrete in your urine to help balance your electrolytes and support your cardiovascular health.

Thanks to the properties from these combined drugs, Benicar HCTZ is able to lower your blood pressure levels to treat hypertension and avoid related cardiovascular issues.

Dosage and Administration

The dose of Benicar HCTZ that is prescribed will vary depending on the individual and the severity of the hypertension being treated. Follow all your healthcare provider’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully to ensure the best results from treatment. Do not use more medication than prescribed or suddenly stop treatment without speaking to your healthcare provider.

  • Swallow tablets whole
  • Take your daily dose at least 4 hours before bed to avoid needing to wake to urinate
  • Those whose blood pressure is not controlled with olmesartan monotherapy should start by taking 40mg olmesartan/12.5mg hydrochlorothiazide strength Benicar HCTZ
  • Those whose hypertension is not controlled with HCTZ monotherapy should take Benicar HCTZ strength 20mg olmesartan/12.5mg HCTZ
  • Adults taking olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide separately can take Benicar HCTZ at a similar dosage
  • Benicar HCTZ may take up to 4 weeks to offer its full blood pressure controlling effects. Continue taking the medication as directed and speak to your healthcare provider if symptoms persist
  • Continue taking Benicar HCTZ as prescribed, even if you feel well
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Benicar HCTZ
  • Store at room temperature away from children and pets

Side Effects

Benicar HCTZ may cause some side effects to develop while lowering your blood pressure. Consult with your healthcare provider to learn more about any symptoms that you may have during treatment.

Common Benicar HCTZ side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat)
  • High levels or uric acid in your blood

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious adverse effects may occur during treatment with Benicar HCTZ. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Light-headedness, feeling faint
  • Eye pain or vision problems
  • Unusual skin rash
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney problems (little or no urination, headache, confusion, swollen feet or ankles, tiredness, shortness of breath)
  • Low sodium levels (headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, unsteady feeling)
  • High potassium levels (slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, loss of movement
  • Low potassium levels (leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling)

In rare occasions, Benicar HCTZ has been found to cause a condition that leads to the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue and then kidney failure. Call your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially alongside a fever, unusual tiredness, or dark coloured urine.

Allergic Reactions

Do not use Benicar HCTZ if you are allergic to olmesartan, hydrochlorothiazide, or any of the other tablet ingredients. Stop using this medication and contact your healthcare provider if you develop any of the following signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat


  • Do not use Benicar HCTZ if you are unable to urinate.
  • Do not take Benicar HCTZ while pregnant. Use effective birth control during treatment and tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant.
  • If you also have diabetes, do not take Benicar HCTZ with any medication containing aliskiren.
  • If you have kidney disease, you may also need to avoid aliskiren containing medicines while using Benicar HCTZ.
  • To ensure your safety when taking Benicar HCTZ, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any of the following:
    • Kidney disease
    • Liver disease
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Glaucoma
    • Low or high potassium levels
    • Asthma or allergies
    • High cholesterol or triglyceride levels
    • Gout
    • Lupus
    • Diabetes
    • Penicillin or sulfa drug allergy
  • Do not breastfeed while using Benicar HCTZ because the medication can pass into your breast milk and affect your nursing child.
  • Benicar HCTZ may increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Avoid long exposure to direct sunlight and artificial UV rays. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors.
  • Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment with Benicar HCTZ because it can further lower your blood pressure and cause adverse effects.
  • Benicar HCTZ may cause you to become dizzy; avoid driving or performing hazardous tasks until you know how the medication will affect you.
  • Move slowly when standing from a seated or lying position to avoid feeling dizzy.
  • Some other drugs may interact with Benicar HCTZ and cause adverse reactions. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medications that you take, including over the counter medicines, but especially any of the following:
    • steroid medications
    • Other blood pressure medicines
    • Insulin or oral diabetes medications
    • Lithium
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen

Form and Strength

This antihypertensive medication is available in the form of film coated tablets.

  • Benicar HCTZ tablet strengths:
    • 20mg olmesartan/12.5mg hydrochlorothiazide
    • 20/25mg
    • 40/12.5mg
    • 40/25mg

The 20/12.5, 20/25, 40/12.5, and 40/20mg strength Benicar HCTZ tablets are all available in quantities of 28 and 84 while the 40/12.5mg tablets are also available in quantities of 30, 90, and 100 and the 20/12.5mg ones are available in quantities of 100.


What to avoid when taking Benicar HCTZ?

During treatment with Benicar HCTZ, you should avoid drinking alcohol and using potassium supplements or salt substitutes because they can lead to an increase in adverse effects. The medication may also cause you to become dizzy and impair your reactions, so you should avoid driving until you know how you will be affected.

When is the best time to take Benicar HCTZ?

Benicar HCTZ can be taken at any time of day without reducing its efficacy. However, your healthcare provider may recommend that you take your daily dose in the morning or early afternoon and no later than 4 hours before going to bed. This is to help reduce your risk of having to wake in the night to urinate. Follow all your healthcare provider’s directions for the best therapeutic response.



Additional information

Brand Name:

Benicar HCTZ

Scientific Name:

Olmesartan/HCTZ, Olmesartan/Hctz, Olmesartan Medoxomil/Hctz

Other Names:

Olmesartan Hctz, Olmetec Plus, Olmezest H


20/12.5mg, 20/25mg, 40/12.5mg, 40/25mg

Quantities Available:

28, 30, 84, 90, 100


Film Coated Tablet, Tablet