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Using Atacand 16-12.5 HTN med for 10 yrs without side effects. Will switching to Benicar have no side effects ?

I have been notifed that my Atacand 16-12.5 HTN med has moved from a Tier 1 to a Tier 3 drug. I have used it for 10 years with good BP control and no sexual side effects. The cost of Atacand has suddenly skyrocked from $60. to $151. for same 90 pills. Ughh! My RX insurance drug plan (Medco) suggests has made Benicar a Tier 1 now (which I have never used). If I want to control cost i need to switch to Benicar. I have serious concens, little to no info on Benicar, and no experience Benicar. What is the likelihood of having different side effects, especially sexual side effects from Benicar? I am sure it will probably control the BP as do many brands. I need some professional advice.
Asked On : Sat, 23 Feb 2013
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
I guess you are talking about Atacand Plus OR HCT, which is a combination of candesartan 16mg + Hydrochlorthiazide 12.5mg (please confirm & correct me if I am wrong)
Benicar which is plain/only olmesartan medoxomil

There is Benicar HCT also available which is the combination of olmesartan medoxomil with Hydrochlorthiazide. Please note, Benicar HCT is not used as first-line of treatment for High BP.

Which product of the above are you prescribed now ?

Basic Prescribing Information of Benicar AND Benicar HCT doesnot mention of any sexual side effects in its safety profile as tested in clinical research (as provided by Daiichi Sankyo); both these drugs does have Category D risk for foetal toxicity if used during pregnancy.
Please can you provide the source of concern related to sexual side effects with Beicar preparations. Also, you must have noted from the above information that the ingredients in two medicines are different.

Please write back if you need further details.
Wish you good health!
Answered: Sat, 23 Feb 2013
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