- What is irbesartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for irbesartan?
- Is irbesartan available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for irbesartan?
- What are the side effects of irbesartan?
- What is the dosage for irbesartan?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with irbesartan?
- Is irbesartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about irbesartan?
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 are the side effects of irbesartan?
The most common side effects of irbesartan are:
- abdominal pain or
- fatigue, and
- reduced blood pressure when rising from a sitting or standing position (orthostatic hypotension).
Other important side effects patients may experience include:
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.
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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.
Irbesartan (Avapro) is a drug prescribed to treat high blood pressure and diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease). Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms. Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure. The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater. If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
Kidney (Renal) Failure
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure include sepsis, medications, rhabdomyolysis, multiple myeloma, and acute glomerulonephritis. Post renal causes of kidney failure include bladder obstruction, prostate problems, tumors, or kidney stones.Treatment options included diet, medications, or dialysis.
Things to Know About High Blood Pressure Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
Febrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile seizures are harmless. Febrile seizure is not epilepsy. It is estimated that one in every 25 children will have at least one febrile seizure. It is important to know what to do to help your child if he/she has a febrile seizure. Some of the features of a febrile seizure include losing consciousness, shaking, moving limbs on both sides of the body, and lasts 1-2 minutes. Less commonly, a febrile seizure may only affect one side of the body.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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Medications & Supplements
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- Drug Interactions
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- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
- valsartan, Diovan
- losartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Hyzaar)
- candesartan cilexetil, Atacand
- telmisartan, Micardis
- Side Effects of Avapro (irbesartan)
Prevention & Wellness
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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