What Is Irbesartan (Avapro)?

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Irbesartan is the generic form of the brand-name drug Avapro, which is used to treat high blood pressure.

It's also used to treat kidney disease that's caused by diabetes, as well as heart failure.

The prescription medicine is in a class of drugs known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which work by relaxing blood vessels.

Avapro is typically prescribed along with recommendations for healthy lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. It's either taken alone, or sometimes combined with other medicines.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved irbesartan in 1997. It's manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Irbesartan Warnings

Before taking irbesartan, tell you doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • Allergies to medications
  • Heart failure or blood vessel problems
  • Stroke or heart attack
  • Kidney disease (or if you're on dialysis)
  • Angioedema (a condition that causes swelling of the hands, face, eyes, lips, throat, or tongue; hoarseness; or swallowing and breathing difficulties)
  • Either high blood potassium levels or low blood sodium levels
  • Low blood volume

Also let your physician know if you have diabetes and are taking the drug aliskiren (Tekturna, Amturnide, Tekamlo).

This medicine might not work as well in African Americans. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern for you.

Let your doctor know if you're on a low-salt diet or if you're dehydrated before taking this medicine.

Tell your physician if you experience diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive sweating while taking irbesartan, because you may be at an increased risk for developing low blood pressure.

Check with your healthcare provider before using a salt substitute or any product that has potassium in it while using irbesartan.

This medicine shouldn't be given to a child younger than 16. Safety and effectiveness in this age group haven't been established.

Be sure to let your doctor know you're taking this medicine before having any type of surgery, including a dental procedure.

This medicine will help control high blood pressure, but it won't cure the condition.

It might take up to two weeks before you experience the full benefits of the drug. Don't stop taking irbesartan without first talking to your doctor.

Your physician will probably want to perform frequent lab tests while you take this medicine. Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory.

Pregnancy and Irbesartan

Irbesartan contains a black-box warning because it can cause serious injury or death to an unborn baby if it's taken in the last six months of pregnancy.

Tell your doctor immediately if you're pregnant or might become pregnant while taking this medicine.

It's not known whether irbesartan is found in breast milk. Don't breast-feed a baby while taking this medicine.

Irbesartan Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Irbesartan

Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Tiredness

Serious Side Effects of Irbesartan

Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • Swelling of the face, tongue, throat, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Dark-colored urine or a change in the amount of urine produced
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Severe dizziness or light-headedness
  • Vision changes
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)

Irbesartan Interactions

Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking, especially those listed in the Warning section and any of the following:

Irbesartan and Other Interactions

Irbesartan may cause light-headedness, dizziness, or fainting.

Don't drive or perform any activity that requires alertness until you know how the medicine affects you.

Irbesartan and Alcohol

Alcohol may worsen certain side effects of irbesartan.

Talk to your doctor before consuming alcohol while taking this drug.

Irbesartan Dosage

Irbesartan comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It's usually taken once a day, with or without food.

Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully when taking this medicine.

Don't take more or less irbesartan than is recommended by your doctor.

Try to take the drug around the same time each day.

Your physician might start you on a low dose of irbesartan and gradually increase it.

Irbesartan Overdose

Symptoms of an irbesartan overdose may include:

  • Fainting
  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • Severe dizziness
  • Lightheadedness

If you suspect an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

You can get in touch with a poison control center at 800-222-1222.

Missed Dose of Irbesartan

If you miss a dose of irbesartan, take it as soon as you remember.

But skip the missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose.

Don't take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

Irbesartan Pictures

Avapro 75 mg, white, oval,
Avapro 150 mg, white, elliptical, film coated
Avapro 300 mg, white, oval,

By Lynn Marks | Medically Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD

Latest Update: 2015-11-25
Copyright © 2014 Everyday Health Media, LLC

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Date: 18.12.2018, 23:00 / Views: 75374