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Benicar is prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB).

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Benicar (olmesartan) is prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Benicar is a type of medicine called an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). It lowers blood pressure and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. Treating high blood pressure helps prevent future strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. Olmesartan can take up to one week to start reducing high blood pressure. It may take two weeks to two months to take full effect. Blood pressure should be checked regularly while under treatment.


The prescribing doctor will set the strength and regime. Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them. Take Benicar with or without food. The usual starting dose for adults and children aged 6 years and over is 10 mg taken once daily. Children weighing less than 35 kg should not take more than 20 mg daily.

This text is for informational purposes only. Please consult a doctor or pharmacist before using any medication. 

Read the information leaflet that comes with the medication.

Most people who use Benicar do not experience any negative side effects. Doctors prescribe Benicar because they assess that the benefits of such treatment outweigh any likely unwanted effects.

Some of the side effects that have been reported include:

  • Feeling dizzy or tired
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms, runny or stuffy nose, cough, or bronchitis
  • Pains in the back, bones, or joints
  • Feeling sick (nausea) or indigestion
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Edema (swollen feet or ankles)
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Not all side effects are listed here. If these or other unlisted symptoms persist or worsen, consult a healthcare provider or pharmacist.


Benicar is prescribed for high blood pressure (hypertension). Most people with high blood pressure do not have any overt symptoms. Occasionally, they may experience pounding in the head or chest, or feeling of lightheaded or dizzy. Any symptoms of hypertension must be confirmed by measuring blood pressure.

  • How does olmesartan work?
    Benicar is a type of medicine called an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). Olmesartan relaxes and widens the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body.
  • How long does Benicar take to work?
    It may take 2 to 8 weeks to take effect fully. Even though a person has high blood pressure, they may not have any symptoms. In this case, they may not feel any difference when taking olmesartan even when the medicine is working properly.
  • Can I stop taking Benicar now my blood pressure is lower?
    Anyone who has been prescribed to take this medicine to lower blood pressure, is probably going to need it for the rest of their life. Even if olmesartan has successfully lowered blood pressure, it's best to carry on taking it. Only change after consulting a doctor. Stopping taking olmesartan could result in blood pressure going back up again.
  • Can I take Benicar while I am pregnant?
    Olmesartan is not recommended in pregnancy. It can reduce the level of fluid around the fetus, particularly in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. This can result in long-term damage to the infant's kidneys and lungs, as well as other problems. It's best to stop taking olmesartan before getting pregnant.
  • Can I drink alcohol while taking olmesartan?
    One of the effects of olmesartan is to make you feel dizzy or light-headed. Is this case, it's best to stop drinking alcohol. Since alcohol can increase the blood pressure-lowering effect of Benicar, it is advised not to drink alcohol until the body has adjusted to the medicine.

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