Hydrochlorothiazide inhibits the reabsorption of Na in the distal tubules causing increased excretion of Na and water including K and hydrogen ions.
Olmesartan blocks the vasoconstrictor effects of angiotensin II by selectively blocking the binding of angiotensin II to the AT1 receptor in vascular smooth muscle. Its action is therefore independent of the pathways for angiotensin II synthesis.
An AT2 receptor is also found in many tissues, but this receptor is not known to be associated with cardiovascular homeostasis. Olmesartan has more than a 12,500-fold greater affinity for the AT1 receptor than for the AT2 receptor.
?Blockade of the renin-angiotensin system with ACE inhibitors, which inhibit the biosynthesis of angiotensin II from angiotensin I, is a mechanism of many drugs used to treat hypertension. ACE inhibitors also inhibit the degradation of bradykinin, a reaction also catalyzed by ACE. Because olmesartan medoxomil does not inhibit ACE, it does not affect the response to bradykinin. Whether this difference has clinical relevance is not yet known.
Blockade of the angiotensin II receptor inhibits the negative regulatory feedback of angiotensin II on renin secretion, but the resulting increased plasma renin activity and circulating angiotensin II levels do not overcome the effect of olmesartan on blood pressure.