Benicar HCT combines Benicar and hydrochlorothiazide to treat high blood pressure. It causes blood vessels to relax and increases the amount of water removed from the blood. As a result, a decrease in blood volume and a drop in blood pressure occurs. Benicar HCT has been shown to cause a greater drop in blood pressure than when either medicine is used alone.
What Is Benicar HCT?Benicar HCT® (olmesartan medoxomil hydrochlorothiazide) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults. The medication has not been approved for use in children.
(Click Benicar HCT Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
How Does Benicar HCT Work?Benicar HCT is a combination of two medicines: Benicar and hydrochlorothiazide. Benicar is a newer type of blood pressure medicine known as an angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB for short. As the name implies, Benicar blocks angiotensin II receptors. This decreases the effectiveness of a chemical known as angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking the effects of angiotensin II, Benicar causes blood vessels to relax.
Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It works by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is passed out through the urine. By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, hydrochlorothiazide causes a decrease in blood volume.
Because of the effects of both Benicar and hydrochlorothiazide, Benicar HCT can lower blood pressure. The combined effects typically cause a greater drop in blood pressure than when either medicine is used alone.