Benicar (olmesartan) is a popular hypertension medication manufactured by Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. Studies indicate the drug to be quite effective in lowering blood pressure in adult and pediatric patients age 6 and older.
However, Benicar isn't suitable for all patients and, like any prescription drug, may interact with some foods, other prescription or over-the-counter medications, and supplements. If your doctor recently prescribed Benicar for high blood pressure, or as part of a comprehensive anti-stroke and heart attack regimen, knowing what to avoid can help reduce your risks of a harmful interaction.
Foods and Beverages to Avoid
Unlike some prescription medications that require patients to seriously restrict their diets, patients taking Benicar aren't prohibited from eating any specific foods. However, they are advised to avoid all potassium and salt substitutes, unless otherwise advised by a physician. Patients should also limit, or avoid, alcoholic beverages, as they can lower blood pressure to an unsafe degree and make some of the drug's gastrointestinal side effects worse. Ask your doctor how many, if any, alcoholic beverages can be safely included in your treatment plan. In addition, it's recommended that Benicar patients drink plenty of water.
Potential Drug Interactions
Before taking Benicar, it's important to discuss all of the medications and supplements you're taking with your doctor. Certain over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as herbal supplements, can negatively interact with Benicar, changing the way the drug works in the body.
Let your doctor know if you're taking:
- Any other medications containing olmesartan
- Other types of blood pressure drugs
- Muscle relaxers
- Colestipol or diabetes medications containing aliskiren, such as Amturnide®, Tekamlo® or Tekturna®
Patients should also avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including:
- Advil, Motrin (ibuprofen)
- Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet (naproxen)
- Celebrex (celecoxib)
- Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze (diclofenac)
- Indocin (indomethacin)
- Mobic (meloxicam)
- And others
Make a list of the medications and supplements you use to discuss with your doctor at your next appointment.
Contraindications for Benicar
While Benicar can successfully lower blood pressure in some patients, it isn't for everyone. Patients who are allergic to olmesartan or any of the drug's inactive ingredients, shouldn't take Benicar. Patients who are considering taking it should talk to their doctor if their medical history includes severe dehydration, kidney disease, liver disease, or congestive heart failure. Also, Benicar can harm or kill a developing fetus, so women who are pregnant should talk to their doctor about an alternative hypertension treatment as soon as they learn they're expecting. Additionally, it's not known how much Benicar passes into the breast milk, or if this amount of the medication could be harmful to an infant, so nursing mothers should also explore other treatment options with their doctor.
Drugs containing olmesartan can cause dizziness in some patients. To avoid dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, or falling, get up slowly and steadily when rising from a seated position. Additionally, don't drive or operate any heavy machinery until you're used to the effects of the drug and are sure you can do so safely.
Are You Considering a Benicar Lawsuit?
Some patients who took Benicar to lower their blood pressure ended up developing other serious health problems, including kidney and liver dysfunction, and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as villous atrophy or sprue-like enteropathy. Any of these disorders can require extensive and expensive medical treatments that can strain a person's finances and emotional health.
If you experienced significant Benicar side effects, or were diagnosed with a major Benicar-related complication, you may be able to sue the drug's manufacturer to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, inability to work, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and other conditions. With 30 years of experiences handling personal injury cases across the country, McGartland Law can provide the knowledgeable representation you need and deserve. Contact McGartland Law today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your potential Benicar lawsuit.