Olmesartan is an FDI-approved drug belonging to the class of angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). The drug is used solely in hypertensive patients or in combination with diuretics or ca2+ channel blockers for patients having comorbidities like atherosclerosis or stage II hypertension.
This anti-hypertensive drug is available in 5 mg, 20mg, 40 mg tablets, and it can be administered orally once daily without any adjustments in food. The titration of drug dosage should be based on the physician’s opinion.
Mechanism of Action
Olmesartan competitively binds and inhibits the angiotensin I & II receptor at the adrenal gland and vascular smooth muscles. This competitive inhibition prevents the release of a chemical that constricts the blood vessel (aldosterone), leading to vasodilation & a decrease in blood pressure. Hence the heart will pump more efficiently.
Olmesartan is used to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients, improve the heart’s performance, and prevent heart failure. It is also used for the prevention of stroke.
The side effects of olmesartan are not very common. However, in some patients, it can produce a constellation of events affecting various human organs.
1. Does Olmesartan have any serious side effects?
Serious side effects are very rare, including a decrease in blood pressure, syncope, acute renal failure, itching, shortness of breath & chest tightness, angioedema, increased blood potassium level, causing nausea and diarrhea. Weak and aching muscles, tender joints are also noticed.
2. What is the best time to take an Olmesartan?
The doctor most commonly prescribes olmesartan at bedtime due to the chance of developing dizziness after taking this medication.
3. Can you prescribe this drug for pregnant patients.?
No, Olmesartan cannot be given in pregnant patients since it can cause serious teratogenic effects, especially in the second and third trimester manifesting as anuria and oligohydramnios causing deformity of the limbs, underdeveloped lungs, head and face abnormalities in the newborn.
4. What are the contra-indications in prescribing olmesartan?
Patients with a history of allergy while using this drug, pregnant patients, diabetic patients due to the risk of cardiovascular and renal problems. It should be avoided in patients taking concurrent ACE inhibitors and patients with a history of hypotension and increased blood potassium levels.
5. What are the factors to be monitored while taking Olmesartan?
The therapeutic index of the drug should be indirectly monitored through the decrease in blood pressure and side effects. On long-term use of this drug, renal and liver function tests, serum electrolytes, and the metabolic panel should be assessed for any potential side effects of the drug.
6. What are the lifestyle modifications to be made while using olmesartan?
Smoking must be avoided while taking this drug since smoking increases the risk of heart attack and causes a stroke. Mild and regular exercise can boost cardiac health and decrease the risk of a heart attack.
7. Can we consume olmesartan along with the food?
Yes, food intake does not alter the efficacy of the drug.
8. How long does it take for olmesartan to show any clinical reduction of symptoms?
A decrease in blood pressure is often noticed after two weeks. The full benefit of this medicine is usually noticed in 8 weeks.
9. What are the commonly available brands of Olmesartan?
Olmezest, Olmat, Olmin, Olvance are the commonly available brands of Olmesartan.
10. Can you prescribe olmesartan in children?
Olmesartan cannot be used for children under one-year-old age as the underdeveloped kidneys may suffer damage from the medication. Children less than 5 years of age can be given a dosage 0f 0.3mg/kg. In adolescents weighing 25-30 kg, an initial dose of 10 mg can be given, and further dose adjustments are made based on the physician's advice.
van Gelder MM, Van Bennekom CM, Louik C, Werler MM, Roeleveld N, Mitchell AA. Maternal hypertensive disorders, antihypertensive medication use, and the risk of birth defects: a case-control study. BJOG. 2015 Jun;122(7):1002-9
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