Generic Benicar is one of the common prescription medications advised for the treatment of high blood pressure, also called hypertension.
The medicine contains olmesartan, a selective angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved olmesartan in 2002. The drug is sold under the brand name Benicar but is now available as a generic medicine.
Doctors may advise olmesartan alone or in combination with other blood pressure-lowering drugs.
The drug blocks the action of an enzyme called angiotensin II that causes your blood vessels to constrict and narrow. The drug temporarily blocks the secretion of this enzyme to relax and widen your blood vessels, thereby lowering your blood pressure.
Brand-name Benicar costs you more than $7 per pill, whereas Generic Benicar could cost you around $2 per pill. Generic Benicar is much cheaper than its brand-name counterpart is, but it is important to get a generic version of olmesartan from a regulated source. Thankfully, generic olmesartan is covered by most Medicare and insurance plans, according to GoodRx. The lowest price for the most common version of Generic Benicar is more than 90% cheaper than the branded version.
In 2017, the FDA granted permission to Glenmark Pharmaceuticals to market its Generic Benicar pills for the treatment of high blood pressure in the United States. Daiichi Sankyo develops brand Benicar, while manufacturers such as Accord Healthcare, Alembic Pharma, Alkem Labs, Lupin, MaCleods Pharma, Mylan, Sandoz, Sciegen, Zydus, and Torrent develop Generic Benicar.
Some of the common side effects of Generic Benicar include back pain, bronchitis, diarrhea, headaches, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, flu-like symptoms, such as fever and body aches, sore throat, and runny nose. If these side effects are mild, they may subside within a few days of treatment. However, if they persist for a longer duration and are troublesome, talk to your doctor.
Serious side effects of Generic Benicar are rare. The drug may cause low blood pressure (hypotension). The symptoms of hypotension include faintness and dizziness. People who have liver issues and use this drug may experience nausea, abdominal pain, and yellowing of eyes and the skin. And people with kidney disease who take Generic Benicar may experience weight gain and swelling of the feet or ankles.
Apart from Generic Benicar, there are other types of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which effectively lower blood pressure are usually available as generics. The other commonly prescribed ARBS include losartan (Generic Cozaar), telmisartan (Generic Micardis), and valsartan (Generic Diovan), and irbesartan (Generic Avapro). However, the FDA has recalled numerous lots of valsartan due to unexpected impurities with carcinogenic compounds in 2018. Generic Benicar and Generic Micardis are equally effective at lower blood pressure, but Generic Cozaar is less effective. Let your doctor decide whether you need any Generic Benicar alternatives.