olmesartan - hydrochlorothiazide
In this drug factsheet:
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abdominal pain
- back or leg pain
- decreased appetite
- pins and needles sensation
- sexual difficulties
- upper respiratory tract infection (such as colds or sinus infections)
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- pounding, rapid heartbeat
- signs of anemia (low red blood cells; e.g., dizziness, pale skin, unusual tiredness or weakness, shortness of breath)
- signs of bleeding (e.g., unusual nosebleeds, bruising, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don't stop bleeding)
- signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
- signs of gout (e.g., joint pain, swelling and warmth of joints)
- signs of infections (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
- signs of kidney problems (e.g., decreased urination, nausea, vomiting, swelling of the feet and ankles)
- signs of liver damage (yellowing of skin or whites of eyes, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, brown urine, light-coloured stools, tiredness, or weakness)
- signs of pancreatitis (e.g., abdominal pain on the upper left side, back pain, nausea, fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, swollen abdomen)
- swelling legs, ankles, or hands
- symptoms of low blood sugar (e.g., cold sweat, cool pale skin, headache, fast heart beat, weakness)
- symptoms of a urinary tract infection (e.g., pain when urinating, urinating more often than usual, low back or flank pain)
- unexplained muscle tenderness or weakness
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest pain
- severe skin rash, including skin blistering and peeling (possibly with headache, fever, coughing, or aching before the rash begins)
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; hives; difficulty breathing)
- symptoms of increased pressure in the eyes (e.g., decreased or blurred vision, eye pain, red eye, swelling of the eye)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
February 4, 2014
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of olmesartan. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Allergic reaction: Some people who are allergic to sulfonamide medications also experience allergic reactions to hydrochlorothiazide. Before you take this medication, inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially to sulfonamide antibiotics or diabetes medications. Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face and throat.
Cholesterol: Cholesterol and triglyceride levels may increase when taking hydrochlorothiazide. Your doctor may want you to have regular blood tests to monitor your cholesterol levels while you are taking this medication. If you have increased cholesterol or triglyceride levels, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Diabetes: Hydrochlorothiazide may make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. A dose adjustment of diabetes medication, including insulin, may need to be required. Your doctor may ask you to test your blood sugar levels more frequently when you are taking this medication.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Blood pressure medications may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know whether the medication affects you in this way.
Fluid and electrolyte balance: Your levels of electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium may change due to the hydrochlorothiazide in this medication. If you experience symptoms of fluid and electrolyte imbalance such as muscle pains or cramps; dry mouth; numb hands, feet, or lips; or racing heartbeat, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may want you to have regular blood tests to monitor these levels while you are taking this medication.
Gout: This medication may cause high levels of uric acid in the blood or cause gout. Symptoms of an acute gout attack include sudden pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joint, often the big toe. You may also experience a fever. If this is your first attack, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have gout, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Kidney function: This medication may affect kidney function, especially for people who already have kidney problems. If you have reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. This medication should not be taken by people with severely impaired kidney function.
Liver function: People with reduced liver function may need a lower-than-usual dose of olmesartan; therefore, it may be necessary to use the components of the combination product separately. If you have reduced liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. This medication is not recommended for people with severe liver impairment.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, a greater-than-expected drop in blood pressure occurs after taking this medication. It is more likely to occur if you are taking additional diuretics (water pills), have reduced salt intake, are on dialysis, have diarrhea, or are vomiting. Blood pressure should be monitored more often in these situations. To reduce the risk of dizziness, people with low blood pressure or those just starting to take this medication should stand or sit up slowly when getting up from a lying down or sitting position. If low blood pressure causes you to faint or feel lightheaded, contact your doctor.
Lupus: There have been reports of a worsening or activation of lupus in people taking hydrochlorothiazide. If you have lupus, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed..
Pregnancy: This medication may cause harm to an unborn baby and should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if olmesartan passes into breast milk. Hydrochlorothiazide does pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking olmesartan - hydrochlorothiazide, it may affect your baby. Do not breast-feed while you are taking this medication.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children. This medication is not recommended for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between olmesartan - hydrochlorothiazide and any of the following:
- ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone)
- alpha-adrenergic blocking agents (e.g., clonidine, doxazosin, prazosin, terazosin)
- amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine)
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; captopril, enalapril, ramipril)
- anticholinergics (e.g., benztropine, disopyramide, ipratropium, oxybutynin)
- barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital phenobarbital)
- beta-blockers (e.g., atenolol, carvedilol, propranolol)
- beta 2 agonists (e.g., salbutamol, formoterol, terbutaline)
- calcium carbonate, calcium citrate
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- colestipol resins
- inhaled corticosteroids (e.g., budesonide, ciclesonide, fluticasone)
- oral corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone)
- diabetes medications (e.g., chlorpropamide, glipizide, glyburide, insulin, metformin, nateglinide, rosiglitazone)
- diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene)
- medications that increase blood levels of potassium (e.g., potassium chloride, salt substitutes containing potassium)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., moclobemide, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- multivitamins/minerals with ADE
- narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, morphine)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen)
- phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- sodium phosphates
- vitamin D
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.