What is the action of Olmesartan?
Olmesartan (also sometimes listed as Olmesartan Medoxomil) is an Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker. It is used by itself or in combination with other medications to control high blood pressure. It is available in 5mg, 20mg and 40mg tablets. It is sold under the brand name Benicar® in the Us and Olmetec® in Canada.
The action of olmesartan is primary inhibiting Angiotensin II by blocking the AT1 Receptor. Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to contract in the body, blocking it helps those blood vessel relax. When the blood vessels relax the blood pressure goes down. This results in a effect similar to ACE inhibitors, but targets a different portions of the renin pathway and that seems to lower the incidence of cough (which can happen in up to 30% of people taking ACE inhibitors).
As with ACE inhibitors, drugs like olmesartan can cause problems with kidneys in a developing fetus. For that reason olmesartan should not be used in pregnancy.