- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- What is telmisartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for telmisartan?
- Is telmisartan available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for telmisartan?
- What are the side effects of telmisartan?
- What is the dosage for telmisartan?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with telmisartan?
- Is telmisartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about telmisartan?
What is telmisartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of telmisartan?
Like other angiotensin receptor blockers, telmisartan generally is well-tolerated. The most common side effects are:
- back pain,
- stomach upset,
- upper respiratory tract infections,
- hyperkalemia, and
Patients also may experience impotence, reduced renal function, and allergic reactions. 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 telmisartan.
What is the dosage for telmisartan?
The recommended dose for treating hypertension is 20-80 mg daily. The recommended dose for cardiovascular risk reduction is 80 mg daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with telmisartan?
Combining telmisartan 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).
Combining telmisartan 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 telmisartan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Medications that interfere with the angiotensin converting enzyme system, such as telmisartan, have been found to cause fetal and neonatal toxicity and death when taken by pregnant women. Pregnant mothers should discontinue use of telmisartan as soon as they know they are pregnant.
It is not known if telmisartan is secreted into breast milk. Since most medicines are secreted into breast milk, potential risks and benefits need to be assessed in women who are nursing to determine if breast feeding or telmisartan should be discontinued.
What else should I know about telmisartan?
What preparations of telmisartan are available?
Tablets: 20, 40, and 80 mg.
How should I keep telmisartan stored?
Telmisartan should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F). The tablets should be kept in their blister-pack packaging until they are used.
Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
Telmisartan (Micardis) is in the drug class of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes (in patients aged 55 years and older). Side effects, dosing information, drug interactions, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Quiz: Symptoms, Signs & Causes
Take this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and...
Picture of Hypertension
High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
What causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood...
Related Disease Conditions
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Signs, Causes, Diet, and Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...
High Blood Pressure Treatment (Natural Home Remedies, Diet, Medications)
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include...
Febrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile...
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
- Surgery Second Opinion
- Caregivers: Don't Forget Your Needs
- Drug Abuse Recovery
- Dupuytren’s Treatment
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.