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Information about Olmesartan

Olmesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker used in the therapy of hypertension.

Liver safety of Olmesartan

Olmesartan is associated with a low rate of transient serum aminotransferase elevations, but has yet to be linked to instances of acute liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Olmesartan

Olmesartan (ol" me sar' tan) is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) used alone or in combination of other agents for therapy of hypertension. Olmesartan inhibits the renin-angiotensin system by blocking the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1), which prevents the vasoconstriction and volume expansion induced by circulating angiotensin II which accounts for its antihypertensive activity.

FDA approval information for Olmesartan

Olmesartan was approved for use in the United States in 2002 and is available in 5, 20 and 40 mg tablets generically under the trade name Benicar.

Dosage and administration for Olmesartan

The typical dose of olmesartan in adults in 20 to 40 mg daily in one or two divided doses, and it is used long term. Oral pediatric formulations and suspensions are also available as are fixed combinations with hydrochlorothiazide (Benicar HCT and others) and amlodipine (Azor and others).

Side effects of Olmesartan

Side effects are uncommon, but may include headache, dizziness, fatigue, cough, gastrointestinal upset, and fetal toxicity. In addition, olmesartan has been linked to instances of severe sprue-like enteropathy that arises after months or years of therapy and presents with chronic diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal discomfort. Intestinal biopsy shows villous flattening and atrophy, similar to celiac disease. However, symptoms do not improve with a gluten-free diet or corticsteroids, but do resolve promptly upon stopping olmesartan. A similar syndrome has been linked to use of other ARBs including valsartan and losartan.

The common ARBS are the following:

Common ACE inhibitors include the following:

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