Benicar can help decrease the risks associated with long-term high blood pressure. The drug is thought to work by causing the blood vessels to relax, which helps with blood flow throughout the body. Benicar should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the medicine in the blood. In clinical studies, the most common side effect of the drug was dizziness.
What Is Benicar?Benicar® (olmesartan medoxomil) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children as young as six years old.
(Click Benicar Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
How Does It Work?Benicar is part of a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs for short. As the name implies, this drug 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, which can lower blood pressure.
EffectivenessA blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example, 120/80. The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. During clinical studies in people taking 40 mg of Benicar, systolic blood pressure decreased by 12 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) on average, and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 7 mmHg on average. Lower doses resulted in a smaller drop in blood pressure.
By lowering blood pressure, this drug can decrease the risks that are often seen with long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure).