Hypertension Home > What Is Olmesartan Used For?

People who are being treated for hypertension may wonder, "What is olmesartan used for?" This prescription medication is used to control high blood pressure in adults and children as young as six years old. With regular use, it can reduce the risks of long-term high blood pressure, such as stroke. At this time, there are no universally accepted off-label uses for this medication.

What Is Olmesartan Used For? -- An Overview

Olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to control high blood pressure (hypertension).

Olmesartan and High Blood Pressure

A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example, 120/80. The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as an average blood pressure higher than 140/90, with multiple blood pressure readings.
Based on clinical studies, olmesartan has been shown to significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The higher the dose of olmesartan, the greater the drop in blood pressure tended to be. By lowering blood pressure, olmesartan can decrease the risks that often accompany long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). However, olmesartan is not a cure for high blood pressure.

How Does Olmesartan Work?

Olmesartan is part of a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs for short. As the name implies, olmesartan 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, olmesartan causes blood vessels to relax, which can lower blood pressure.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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