irbesartan, Avapro

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is irbesartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Irbesartan is an oral medication that is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetic nephropathy or kidney disease. It belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) which also includes valsartan (Diovan), losartan (Cozaar), and candesartan (Atacand). Angiotensin, formed in the blood by the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), is a powerful chemical that attaches to angiotensin receptors found in many tissues but primarily on smooth muscle cells of blood vessels. Angiotensin's attachment to the receptors causes the blood vessels to narrow (vasoconstrict), which leads to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension ). Irbesartan blocks the angiotensin receptor. By blocking the action of angiotensin, irbesartan dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. The FDA approved irbesartan in September 1997.

What brand names are available for irbesartan?

Avapro

Is irbesartan available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for irbesartan?

Yes

What are the side effects of irbesartan?

The most common side effects of irbesartan are:

Other important side effects patients may experience include:

Rhabdomyolysis (inflammation and destruction of muscle) and angioedema (swelling of soft tissues including those of the throat and larynx) are rare but serious side effects of irbesartan.

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What is the dosage for irbesartan?

The recommended dose of irbesartan for treating hypertension is 75 to 300 mg once daily. Most hypertensive patients are started on 150 mg daily. Diabetic nephropathy is treated with 300 mg daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with irbesartan?

Combining irbesartan with potassium-sparing diuretics (for example., spironolactone [Aldactone], triamterene, amiloride), potassium supplements, or salt substitutes containing potassium may lead to hyperkalemia (elevated potassium in the blood) and toxicity from potassium.

Combining irbesartan or other ARBs with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients who are elderly, fluid-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with poor kidney function may result in reduced kidney function, including kidney failure. These effects usually are reversible. There have been reports that aspirin and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, etc.), indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve) may reduce the effects of ARBs.

Is irbesartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

All ARBs should not be used during pregnancy. When used in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, irbesartan and similar drugs may cause injury and even death to the fetus. Irbesartan should not be used during pregnancy. When pregnancy is detected, irbesartan should be stopped as soon as possible.

It is not known whether irbesartan is secreted into human milk. Irbesartan is secreted into the milk of rats.

What else should I know about irbesartan?

What preparations of irbesartan are available?

Tablets: 75 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg.

How should I keep irbesartan stored?

Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C -30 C (59 F - 86 F).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 12/31/2014

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See more info: irbesartan on RxList
Reviewed on 12/31/2014
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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