Benicar Precautions and Warnings
Benicar precautions and warnings include being aware of drug interactions, avoiding the medication while pregnant, and paying attention to a decrease in urine output. People with certain types of liver or kidney disease, as well as those with heart disease should talk to their doctor before taking the drug. Benicar precautions and warnings also extend to women who are trying to become pregnant or who are breastfeeding.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Benicar® (olmesartan medoxomil) if you have:
- Heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Any allergies, including allergies to other angiotensin II receptor blockers, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- On dialysis
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some Benicar precautions and warnings to be aware of include:
- Benicar can interact with certain medications (see Benicar Drug Interactions).
- Benicar may cause extremely low blood pressure in some people. This is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, or who have congestive heart failure. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider. If you have fainted, stop taking Benicar until you have talked to your healthcare provider. Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how Benicar affects you.
- Benicar may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics (water pills). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.
- Benicar is a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning that it poses health risks to your unborn child. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Benicar, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Benicar and Pregnancy).
- While taking Benicar, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium, unless you have discussed this with your doctor. In some people taking Benicar, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
- Reports of severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss have been reported in people taking Benicar. This side effect can occur months or even years after starting the drug. If you develop such problems, your healthcare provider should check for other problems first, but if no other cause for the diarrhea and weight loss is found, you might need to stop taking Benicar.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers, including Benicar, have been known to cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in certain groups, such as those with severe congestive heart failure. Let your healthcare provider know if you have symptoms such as a decrease in urine output, drowsiness, headache, or back pain. Your healthcare provider will also regularly check your kidney function with a simple blood test.
- If you are nursing, it is not known whether Benicar passes through your breast milk. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should stop taking Benicar or stop breastfeeding.