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Pregnancy Category D
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue BENICAR HCT as soon as possible [see Use in Specific Populations].
Hypotension In Volume Or Salt-Depleted Patients
In patients with an activated renin-angiotensin system, such as volume- or salt-depleted patients (e.g., those being treated with high doses of diuretics), symptomatic hypotension may occur after initiation of treatment with BENICAR HCT. If hypotension does occur, the patient should be placed in the supine position and, if necessary, given an intravenous infusion of normal saline. When electrolyte and fluid imbalances have been corrected, BENICAR HCT usually can be continued without difficulty. A transient hypotensive response is not a contraindication to further treatment.
Impaired Renal Function
Changes in renal function including acute renal failure can be caused by drugs that inhibit the reninangiotensin system and by diuretics. Patients whose renal function may depend in part on the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (e.g., patients with renal artery stenosis, chronic kidney disease, severe congestive heart failure, or volume depletion) may be at particular risk of developing acute renal failure on BENICAR HCT. Monitor renal function periodically in these patients. Consider withholding or discontinuing therapy in patients who develop a clinically significant decrease in renal function on BENICAR HCT [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Electrolyte And Metabolic Imbalances
BENICAR HCT contains hydrochlorothiazide which can cause hypokalemia and hyponatremia. Hypomagnesemia can result in hypokalemia which may be difficult to treat despite potassium repletion. BENICAR HCT also contains olmesartan, a drug that inhibits the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Drugs that inhibit the RAS can cause hyperkalemia. Monitor serum electrolytes periodically. Hydrochlorothiazide may alter glucose tolerance and raise serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Hydrochlorothiazide decreases urinary calcium excretion and may cause elevations of serum calcium. Monitor calcium levels.
Acute Myopia And Secondary Angle-Closure Glaucoma
Hydrochlorothiazide, a sulfonamide, can cause an idiosyncratic reaction, resulting in acute transient myopia and acute angle-closure glaucoma. Symptoms include acute onset of decreased visual acuity or ocular pain and typically occur within hours to weeks of drug initiation. Untreated acute angle-closure glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. The primary treatment is to discontinue hydrochlorothiazide as rapidly as possible. Prompt medical or surgical treatments may need to be considered if the intraocular pressure remains uncontrolled. Risk factors for developing acute angleclosure glaucoma may include a history of sulfonamide or penicillin allergy.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Thiazide diuretics have been reported to cause exacerbation or activation of systemic lupus erythematosus.
Severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss has been reported in patients taking olmesartan months to years after drug initiation. Intestinal biopsies of patients often demonstrated villous atrophy. If a patient develops these symptoms during treatment with olmesartan, exclude other etiologies. Consider discontinuation of BENICAR HCT in cases where no other etiology is identified.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Olmesartan Medoxomil And Hydrochlorothiazide
No carcinogenicity studies with olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide have been conducted.
Olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide in a ratio of 20:12.5 were negative in the Salmonella- Escherichia coli/mammalian microsome reverse mutation test up to the maximum recommended plate concentration for the standard assays. Olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide were tested individually and in combination ratios of 40:12.5, 20:12.5 and 10:12.5, for clastogenic activity in the in vitro Chinese hamster lung (CHL) chromosomal aberration assay. A positive response was seen for each component and combination ratio. However, no synergism in clastogenic activity was detected between olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide at any combination ratio. Olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide in a ratio of 20:12.5, administered orally, tested negative in the in vivo mouse bone marrow erythrocyte micronucleus assay at administered doses of up to 3144 mg/kg.
No studies of impairment of fertility with olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide have been conducted.
Olmesartan medoxomil was not carcinogenic when administered by dietary administration to rats for up to 2 years. The highest dose tested (2000 mg/kg/day) was, on a mg/m basis, about 480 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 40 mg/day. Two carcinogenicity studies conducted in mice, a 6-month gavage study in the p53 knockout mouse and a 6-month dietary administration study in the Hras2 transgenic mouse, at doses of up to 1000 mg/kg/day (about 120 times the MRHD), revealed no evidence of a carcinogenic effect of olmesartan medoxomil.
Both olmesartan medoxomil and olmesartan tested negative in the in vitro Syrian hamster embryo cell transformation assay and showed no evidence of genetic toxicity in the Ames (bacterial mutagenicity) test. However, both were shown to induce chromosomal aberrations in cultured cells in vitro (Chinese hamster lung) and both tested positive for thymidine kinase mutations in the in vitro mouse lymphoma assay. Olmesartan medoxomil tested negative in vivo for mutations in the MutaMouse intestine and kidney, and for clastogenicity in mouse bone marrow (micronucleus test) at oral doses of up to 2000 mg/kg (olmesartan not tested).
Fertility of rats was unaffected by administration of olmesartan medoxomil at dose levels as high as 1000 mg/kg/day (240 times the MRHD) in a study in which dosing was begun 2 (female) or 9 (male) weeks prior to mating.
Two-year feeding studies in mice and rats conducted under the auspices of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) uncovered no evidence of a carcinogenic potential of hydrochlorothiazide in female mice (at doses of up to approximately 600 mg/kg/day) or in male and female rats (at doses of up to approximately 100 mg/kg/day). The NTP, however, found equivocal evidence for hepatocarcinogenicity in male mice.
Hydrochlorothiazide was not genotoxic in vitro in the Ames mutagenicity assay of Salmonella typhimurium strains TA 98, TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1537 and TA 1538, or in the Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) test for chromosomal aberrations. It was also not genotoxic in vivo in assays using mouse germinal cell chromosomes, Chinese hamster bone marrow chromosomes, or the Drosophila sex-linked recessive lethal trait gene. Positive test results were obtained in the in vitro CHO Sister Chromatid Exchange (clastogenicity) assay, the Mouse Lymphoma Cell (mutagenicity) assay and the Aspergillus nidulans non-disjunction assay.
Hydrochlorothiazide had no adverse effects on the fertility of mice and rats of either sex in studies wherein these species were exposed, via their diet, to doses of up to 100 and 4 mg/kg, respectively, prior to mating and throughout gestation.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity, and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue BENICAR HCT as soon as possible. These adverse outcomes are usually associated with use of these drugs in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Most epidemiologic studies examining fetal abnormalities after exposure to antihypertensive use in the first trimester have not distinguished drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system from other antihypertensive agents. Appropriate management of maternal hypertension during pregnancy is important to optimize outcomes for both mother and fetus.
In the unusual case that there is no appropriate alternative to therapy with drugs affecting the reninangiotensin system for a particular patient, apprise the mother of the potential risk to the fetus. Perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intraamniotic environment. If oligohydramnios is observed, discontinue BENICAR HCT, unless it is considered lifesaving for the mother. Fetal testing may be appropriate, based on the week of pregnancy. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury. Closely observe infants with histories of in utero exposure to BENICAR HCT for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia [see Use in Specific Populations].
It is not known whether olmesartan is excreted in human milk, but olmesartan is secreted at low concentration in the milk of lactating rats. Thiazides appear in human milk. Because of the potential for adverse effects on the nursing infant, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue BENICAR HCT, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Neonates with a history of in utero exposure to BENICAR HCT:
If oliguria or hypotension occurs, direct attention toward support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusions or dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and substituting for disordered renal function.
Safety and effectiveness of BENICAR HCT in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical studies of BENICAR HCT did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function and of concomitant diseases or other drug therapy.
Olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide are substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to BENICAR HCT may be greater in patients with impaired renal function.
Safety and effectiveness of BENICAR HCT in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl ≤ 30 mL/min) have not been established. No dose adjustment is required in patients with mild (CrCl 60-90 mL/min) or moderate (CrCl 30-60) renal impairment.
No dose adjustment is necessary for patients with mild-to-severe liver disease.
Minor alterations of fluid and electrolyte balance may precipitate hepatic coma in patients with impaired hepatic function or progressive liver disease.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/26/2016
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