How and when to take olmesartan

Author: May

Mar. 07, 2024


Always take olmesartan as instructed by your doctor.

Dosage and strength

Olmesartan comes as 10mg, 20mg and 40mg tablets.

For adults and children aged 6 years and over, the usual starting dose is 10mg taken once a day.

Your dose may go up to 20mg or 40mg, taken once a day.

Children weighing less than 35kg (about 5.5 stone) should not take more than 20mg daily.

Changes to your dose

After a few weeks your doctor will check your blood pressure and ask you if you're getting any side effects.

You may also have blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working and the amount of potassium in your blood.

Your doctor will then decide whether to change your dose of olmesartan.

If olmesartan does not bring your blood pressure down, your doctor may want to increase the dose.

If your blood pressure gets too low or you get side effects, your doctor may want to lower your dose.

How to take it

Take olmesartan tablets once a day. Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.

You can take olmesartan with or without food.

Your doctor may suggest that you take your first dose before bedtime, as it can make you feel dizzy. After the first dose, you can then take olmesartan at any time of day.

Usually people take olmesartan in the morning, but it does not really matter. Just try to take it at the same time every day.

Speak to a pharmacist if you or your child have difficulty swallowing tablets.

How long to take it for

Usually treatment with olmesartan is long term, even for the rest of your life.

If you get ill while taking it

If you get severe diarrhoea or vomiting for any reason, contact your doctor or a pharmacist. They'll be able to advise you about what to do.

They may lower your dose or recommend that you stop taking olmesartan until you're better and able to eat and drink normally again.

If you take contraceptive pills and you're being sick (vomiting) or have severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, your contraception may not protect you from pregnancy. Check the pill packet to find out what to do.

If you forget to take it

If you miss a dose of olmesartan, take it as soon as you remember if it's the same day. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the forgotten dose and take your next dose at the usual time.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

Stopping olmesartan

Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking olmesartan.

Stopping olmesartan may cause your blood pressure to rise. This may increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

If you're bothered by side effects, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different blood pressure-lowering medicine.


Take olmesartan even if you feel well, as you'll still be getting the benefits of the medicine.

If you take too much

Taking too much olmesartan can make you feel dizzy (due to low blood pressure).

The amount of olmesartan that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person.

Urgent advice:

Contact 111 for advice now if:

  • you take more than your prescribed dose of olmesartan

Go to or call 111.

If you need to go to A&E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.

Take the olmesartan packet or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.

Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®

US Brand Name

  1. Benicar


Olmesartan is used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Olmesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It works by blocking a substance in the body that causes the blood vessels to tighten. As a result, olmesartan relaxes the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of olmesartan in children. However, this medicine has not been shown to be effective in children younger than 6 years of age. Use of olmesartan is not recommended in children younger than 1 year of age.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of olmesartan in the elderly.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Aliskiren

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Lithium
  • Trimethoprim

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Colesevelam

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure, severe—Use may lead to kidney problems.
  • Dehydration or
  • Diabetes or
  • Electrolyte imbalance (eg, high or low potassium or sodium in the blood) or
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Diabetes patients who are also using aliskiren (Tekturna®) or
  • Patients with kidney problems who are taking aliskiren (Tekturna®)—Should not be used in these patients.

Proper Use

In addition to taking this medicine, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and a change in the foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium (salt). Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.

Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.

Remember that this medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it does help control it. You must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You might have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.

This medicine may be taken with or without food.

If your child cannot swallow the tablets, your doctor may give him/her an oral liquid that is to be prepared by a pharmacist.

To use the oral liquid:

  • Shake the oral liquid well before each use.
  • Measure the medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.
  • Store the oral liquid in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Throw away any unused medicine after 4 weeks.

If you are also using colesevelam (Welchol®), take it at least 4 hours after taking Benicar®.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—At first, 20 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 40 mg once a day.
      • Children 6 to 16 years of age weighing 35 kilograms (kg) or more—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 20 to 40 mg once a day. If the child cannot swallow the tablets, an oral suspension is recommended.
      • Children 6 to 16 years of age weighing at least 20 kg and less than 35 kg—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 10 to 20 mg once a day. If the child cannot swallow the tablets, an oral suspension is recommended.
      • Children 1 to 5 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 1 year of age—Use is not recommended.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.


It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur after the first dose of this medicine, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child become sick while taking this medicine, especially with severe or continuing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water, and may lead to low blood pressure. You can also lose water by sweating, so drink plenty of water during exercise or in hot weather.

Severe, chronic diarrhea with weight loss may develop months to years after taking this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have these symptoms.

Ask your doctor before you use medicines, supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, since they may tend to increase your blood pressure.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  1. Blood in the urine
  2. body aches or pain
  3. chills
  4. cough or cough producing mucus
  5. difficulty with breathing
  6. ear congestion
  7. fever
  8. headache
  9. loss of voice
  10. runny or stuffy nose
  11. sneezing
  12. sore throat
  13. tightness in the chest
  14. unusual tiredness or weakness


  1. Bladder pain
  2. bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  3. chest pain
  4. cloudy urine
  5. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  6. fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  7. frequent urge to urinate
  8. joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  9. lower back, side, or stomach pain
  10. swelling of the feet or lower legs

Incidence not known

  1. Confusion
  2. dark-colored urine
  3. diarrhea (severe) with weight loss
  4. dizziness
  5. hives or itching
  6. large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  7. muscle cramps or spasms
  8. muscle pain or stiffness
  9. nausea or vomiting
  10. weakness or heaviness of the legs

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose

  1. Blurred vision
  2. chest pain or discomfort
  3. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness
  4. sweating

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  1. Back pain
  2. diarrhea
  3. dry mouth
  4. flushed, dry skin
  5. fruit-like breath odor
  6. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  7. increased hunger
  8. increased thirst
  9. increased urination
  10. loss of appetite
  11. muscle aches
  12. pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  13. shivering
  14. tender, swollen glands in the neck
  15. trouble sleeping
  16. trouble swallowing
  17. unexplained weight loss


  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. belching
  3. difficulty with moving
  4. feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  5. heartburn
  6. indigestion
  7. rapid weight gain
  8. rash
  9. sensation of spinning
  10. tingling of the hands or feet
  11. unusual weight gain or loss

Incidence not known

  1. Hair loss or thinning of the hair
  2. lack or loss of strength
  3. redness of the skin
  4. welts

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How and when to take olmesartan

Olmesartan (Oral Route) Side Effects




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