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 angle-closure glaucoma may include a history of sulfonamide or penicillin allergy.
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.
The following adverse reactions with BENICAR HCT are described elsewhere:
- Hypotension in Volume- or Salt-Depleted Patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Impaired Renal Function [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Hypersensitivity Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- Electrolyte and Metabolic Imbalances[see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
- Acute Myopia and Secondary Angle-Closure Glaucoma [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
- Sprue-Like Enteropathy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
Olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide
The concomitant use of olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide was evaluated for safety in 1243 hypertensive patients. Treatment with olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide was well tolerated, with an incidence of adverse events similar to that of placebo. Adverse reactions were generally mild, transient and not dependent on the dose of olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide.
The rate of withdrawals for adverse events in all trials of hypertensive patients was 2.0% (25/1243) on olmesartan medoxomil plus hydrochlorothiazide and 2.0% (7/342) on placebo.
In a placebo-controlled, factorial clinical trial of olmesartan medoxomil (2.5 mg to 40 mg) and hydrochlorothiazide (12.5 mg to 25 mg), the following adverse reactions reported in Table 1 occurred in >2% of patients, and more often on the olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide combination than on placebo.
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Other adverse reactions that have been reported with an incidence of greater than 1.0%, whether or not attributed to treatment, in the more than 1200 hypertensive patients treated with olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide in controlled or open-label trials are listed below.
Body as a Whole: chest pain, back pain, peripheral edema
Central and Peripheral Nervous System: vertigo
Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, diarrhea
Liver and Biliary System: SGOT increased, GGT increased, ALT increased
Metabolic and Nutritional: creatine phosphokinase increased
Musculoskeletal: arthritis, arthralgia, myalgia
Respiratory System: coughing
Skin and Appendages Disorders: rash
Urinary System: hematuria
Facial edema was reported in 2/1243 patients receiving olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide. Angioedema has been reported with angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including BENICAR HCT.
Other adverse reactions that have been reported with hydrochlorothiazide are listed below:
Body as a Whole: weakness
Digestive: pancreatitis, jaundice (intrahepatic cholestatic jaundice), sialadenitis, cramping, gastric irritation
Hematologic: aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia
Hypersensitivity: purpura, photosensitivity, urticaria, necrotizing angiitis (vasculitis and cutaneous vasculitis), fever, respiratory distress including pneumonitis and pulmonary edema, anaphylactic reactions
Metabolic: glycosuria, hyperuricemia
Musculoskeletal: muscle spasm
Nervous System/Psychiatric: restlessness
Renal: renal dysfunction, interstitial nephritis
Skin: erythema multiforme including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, exfoliative dermatitis including toxic epidermal necrolysis
Special Senses: transient blurred vision, xanthopsia
Clinical Laboratory Test Findings
Creatinine/ b lood u rea n itrogen (BUN): Minor elevations in creatinine and BUN occurred in 1.7% and 2.5% respectively, of patients taking BENICAR HCT and 0% and 0% respectively, given placebo in controlled clinical trials.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of BENICAR HCT. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure:
Body as a Whole: Asthenia
Musculoskeletal: Rhabdomyolysis Skin and Appendages: Alopecia, pruritus
Data from one controlled trial and an epidemiologic study have suggested that high-dose olmesartan may increase cardiovascular (CV) risk in diabetic patients, but the overall data are not conclusive. The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind ROADMAP trial (Randomized Olmesartan And Diabetes MicroAlbuminuria Prevention trial, n=4447) examined the use of olmesartan, 40 mg daily, vs. placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, normoalbuminuria, and at least one additional risk factor for CV disease. The trial met its primary endpoint, delayed onset of microalbuminuria, but olmesartan had no beneficial effect on decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR). There was a finding of increased CV mortality (adjudicated sudden cardiac death, fatal myocardial infarction, fatal stroke, revascularization death) in the olmesartan group compared to the placebo group (15 olmesartan vs. 3 placebo, HR 4.9, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4, 17), but the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction was lower with olmesartan (HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.35, 1.18).
The epidemiologic study included patients 65 years and older with overall exposure of > 300,000 patient-years. In the sub-group of diabetic patients receiving high-dose olmesartan (40 mg/d) for > 6 months, there appeared to be an increased risk of death (HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1, 3.8) compared to similar patients taking other angiotensin receptor blockers. In contrast, high-dose olmesartan use in non-diabetic patients appeared to be associated with a decreased risk of death (HR 0.46, 95% CI 0.24, 0.86) compared to similar patients taking other angiotensin receptor blockers. No differences were observed between the groups receiving lower doses of olmesartan compared to other angiotensin blockers or those receiving therapy for < 6 months.
Overall, these data raise a concern of a possible increased CV risk associated with the use of high-dose olmesartan in diabetic patients. There are, however, concerns with the credibility of the finding of increased CV risk, notably the observation in the large epidemiologic study for a survival benefit in non-diabetics of a magnitude similar to the adverse finding in diabetics.
Non-melanoma Skin Cancer
Hydrochlorothiazide is associated with an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. In a study conducted in the Sentinel System, increased risk was predominantly for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and in white patients taking large cumulative doses. The increased risk for SCC in the overall population was approximately 1 additional case per 16,000 patients per year, and for white patients taking a cumulative dose of ≥50,000mg the risk increase was approximately 1 additional SCC case for every 6,700 patients per year.
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