GENERIC NAME: telmisartan
BRAND NAME: Micardis
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Telmisartan is a member of a family of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which includes losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), irbesartan (Avapro), 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 muscle cells of blood vessels. Angiotensin's attachment to the receptors causes muscle cells to shorten and narrow the blood vessels (vasoconstrict), which leads to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension). Telmisartan blocks the angiotensin receptor. By blocking the action of angiotensin, telmisartan widens blood vessels (vasodilate) and reduces blood pressure. Telmisartan was approved by the FDA in November 2000.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Telmisartan is used for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). It also is used for reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes in patients 55 years of age or older at high risk of developing major cardiovascular events but who are unable to take ACE inhibitors.
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