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BENICAR HCT
ANGIOTENSIN BLOCKERS W/HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

ANGIOTENSIN BLOCKERS W/HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE - ORAL

WARNING: This drug can cause serious fetal harm if used during the last six months of pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, stop using this drug and immediately contact your physician.

Uses

This medication is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

OTHER

Uses

This medication may also be used to help prevent diabetic kidney problems.

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth as prescribed, usually once or twice a day. It may be taken with or without food. Your dosage depends on your medical condition and response to the drug. Be sure to follow the dosing instructions closely. Do not increase your dose, skip any doses or stop taking this without first consulting your doctor. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you do not feel sick. Many people with high blood pressure do not have any symptoms. The full benefit of this drugs usually occurs within 4 weeks. Before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Nausea or vomiting, dry mouth, headache, fatigue or diarrhea may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Report promptly: lightheadedness or dizziness, muscle weakness or cramping. Unlikely but report promptly: stomach pain, unusual change in amount of urine (after the first several days), unusual thirst, fainting, mental/mood changes. Very unlikely but report promptly: persistent sore throat or cough, fever, unusual bleeding or bruising, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, joint pain. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this product, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, heart disease, liver problems, diabetes, gout, high cholesterol or lipids (triglycerides), lupus, metabolic problems (e.g., potassium or sodium imbalances), allergies (especially to sulfa drugs). Use caution performing tasks requiring alertness if this medication makes you dizzy. To avoid dizziness and lightheadedness when rising from a seated or lying position, get up slowly. Also, limit your intake of alcoholic beverages which can intensify these effects. Excessive loss of body fluids (e.g., sweating or diarrhea) can cause a drop in blood pressure and make you lightheaded. Avoid excessive exercise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist. Hydrochlorothiazide may increase sensitivity to sunlight. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. If you become sun sensitive, use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Caution is advised when this product is used in the elderly since this group may be more sensitive to drug side effects. This product should be used only when clearly needed during the first 3 months of pregnancy and is not recommended for use during the last 6 months. Consult your doctor. The hydrochlorothiazide in this combination drug passes into breast milk. Though there are no reports (to date) of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

This drug is not recommended for use with: dofetilide. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medications you may use, especially of: potassium supplements (including salt substitutes with potassium), other blood pressure drugs, lithium, barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), drugs used for diabetes, colestipol, cholestyramine, NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin), ACTH, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), drugs that cause kidney problem such as gentamicin or amphotericin, allergy or cough-and-cold products (e.g., pseudoephedrine). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include dizziness, unusually fast or slow heartbeat, fainting, or muscle weakness.

Notes

Laboratory tests will be done periodically to check your progress. Learn to monitor your pulse and blood pressure. Talk to your health care professional about this. Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).