Blood Pressure Home > Benicar and Pregnancy

There are certain conditions under which a person should avoid taking Benicar, and pregnancy is one of them. Benicar has been known to cause developmental problems, such as head and face deformities, to a fetus during pregnancy. If you are taking Benicar and pregnancy occurs, let your healthcare provider know right away so that he or she can change your medications, if needed.

Benicar and Pregnancy: An Overview

For people who are pregnant, Benicar® (olmesartan medoxomil) is usually not recommended. This is because during pregnancy, Benicar can cause temporary or permanent problems, including death, to the unborn child.

Benicar and Pregnancy: What Is the Risk?

Prior to 2006, there was a common belief among healthcare providers that problems with Benicar and pregnancy were generally seen when the drug was taken during the second or third trimester. However, that changed when a study by researchers at Vanderbilt University was published in the June 2006 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. This study showed that there may, in fact, also be an increased risk to the fetus if it is exposed to drugs like Benicar during the first trimester. Whether the risk to the fetus is as great in the first trimester as in the second or third trimester is not known.
Some of the complications seen with fetuses or newborns exposed to Benicar during pregnancy include:
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Developmental problems with the nervous system
  • Developmental problems with the cardiovascular system (this includes the heart and/or blood vessels)
  • Developmental problems with the lungs
  • Kidney failure
  • Deformities of the head and face
  • Loss of life.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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