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- 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.
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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.
FDA Prescribing Information
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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.
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Angiotensin II Receptor BlockersAngiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are a class of drugs prescribed to control blood pressure, treat heart failure, and prevent kidney failure in people with diabetes or high blood pressure. Examples of ARBs include candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), telmisartan (Micardis), valsartan (Diovan), losartan (Cozaar), and olmesartan (Benicar). Side effects, drug interactions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Febrile SeizuresFebrile 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,
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Heart AttackHeart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
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Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back. Women experience the same symptoms as men; however, they also may experience:
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Leading a healthy lifestyle with a heart healthy low-fat diet, and exercise can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Heart Attack TreatmentA 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 prevent or stop this damage to the heart muscle. Heart attack treatments included medications, procedures, and surgeries to protect the heart muscle against injury.
Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease)
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
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- Family history
Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
High Blood Pressure HypertensionHigh blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher in the arteries. Genetic factors, high salt intake, and increased arterial stiffness cause high blood pressure. Dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath are just a few symptoms of high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, eye damage, stroke, and increased risk of aneurysms. High blood pressure can be managed with weight loss, lifestyle changes, and medication.
High Blood Pressure Medication
High blood pressure (hypertension) medications include drugs from a variety of different drug classes and types.
- ACE inhibitors
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Clonidine (Catapres) and minoxidil also are drugs prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. Side effects, warnings and precautions, safety information, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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High Blood Pressure TreatmentHigh 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.
Hypertension PictureHigh blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90. See a picture of Hypertension and learn more about the health topic.
irbesartanIrbesartan (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.
losartanLosartan (Cozaar) is a medication prescribed fro the treatment of high blood pressure. Losartan (Cozaar) belongs to a class of drugs referred to as ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
ParathyroidectomyParathyroidectomy is the removal of one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism. Risks of parathyroidectomy include:
- paralysis of the vocal cords,
- difficulty swallowing thin liquids,
- difficulty breathing,
- and drug reactions.
- damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve,
- bleeding or hematoma,
- problems maintaining calcium levels in the blood,
- need for further and more aggressive surgery,
- need for a limited or total thyroidectomy,
- prolonged pain,
- impaired healing,
- and recurrence of the tumor.
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- double vision or vision loss,
- vertigo, and
- difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
valsartanValsartan (Diovan) is an ARB drug prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy efficacy should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.