FDA Approves Daiichi-Sankyo's Benicar HCT to Lower Hypertension

Benicar HCT belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), also called antihypertensives, or angiotensin II receptor antagonists.

ARBs are used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure. Benicar HCT combines Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) with hydrochlorothiazide, a thiazide diuretic, or water pill, which helps to lower blood pressure further by increasing the amount of water excreted from the body. A patient whose blood pressure is inadequately controlled by Benicar may be switched to Benicar HCT.

By blocking certain chemicals that restrict blood vessels, ARBs allow blood to flow more easily though the body.

Benicar HCT is a combination of two medicines: Benicar and hydrochlorothiazide. Benicar is a newer type of blood pressure medicine known as an angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB for short. As the name implies, Benicar blocks angiotensin II receptors. This decreases the effectiveness of a chemical known as angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking the effects of angiotensin II, Benicar causes blood vessels to relax.

Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It works by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is passed out through the urine. By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, hydrochlorothiazide causes a decrease in blood volume.

Benicar HCT combines the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) with the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted marketing approval for Benicar HCT for the treatment of hypertension in June 2003.
Benicar/Benicar HCT was ranked #3 in the ARB class for total prescriptions (TRx).1,2
Benicar HCT is indicated for the treatment of hypertension. It may be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents. Benicar HCT is not indicated for initial therapy.