Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Avapro

Descriptions


Irbesartan is used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Irbesartan is also used to treat high blood pressure with diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy is a complication of type 2 diabetes which causes the kidneys to not work properly.

Irbesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It works by blocking a substance in the body that causes blood vessels to tighten. As a result, irbesartan relaxes the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of irbesartan in children younger than 6 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of irbesartan in the elderly.

Pregnancy

Information about this irbesartan-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Aliskiren

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Benazepril
  • Captopril
  • Ceritinib
  • Dabrafenib
  • Enalapril
  • Enalaprilat
  • Fosinopril
  • Lisinopril
  • Moexipril
  • Perindopril Erbumine
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Trandolapril

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aceclofenac
  • Acemetacin
  • Amtolmetin Guacil
  • Aspirin
  • Bromfenac
  • Bufexamac
  • Celecoxib
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Clonixin
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Dexketoprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Diflunisal
  • Dipyrone
  • Etodolac
  • Etofenamate
  • Etoricoxib
  • Felbinac
  • Fenoprofen
  • Fepradinol
  • Feprazone
  • Floctafenine
  • Flufenamic Acid
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ibuprofen Lysine
  • Indomethacin
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ketorolac
  • Lornoxicam
  • Loxoprofen
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Meloxicam
  • Morniflumate
  • Nabumetone
  • Naproxen
  • Nepafenac
  • Niflumic Acid
  • Nimesulide
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Parecoxib
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Piroxicam
  • Pranoprofen
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propyphenazone
  • Proquazone
  • Rofecoxib
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Salsalate
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Sulindac
  • Tenoxicam
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Tolmetin
  • Valdecoxib

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure, severe—Use may lead to kidney problems.
  • Diabetic patients who are also taking aliskiren (Tekturna®)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
  • Electrolyte imbalances (e.g., low sodium in the body) or
  • Fluid imbalances (e.g., dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea) or
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use

In addition to the use of this medicine, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium (salt). Your doctor will tell you which of these is most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.

Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.

Remember that this medicine will not cure your high blood pressure but it does help control it. Therefore, you must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed to treat your condition.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—At first, 150 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 300 mg per day.
      • Children younger than 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For diabetic nephropathy:
      • Adults—300 milligrams (mg) once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert. If you feel dizzy, lie down so you do not faint. Then sit for a few moments before standing to prevent the dizziness from returning.

Check with your doctor right away if you become sick while taking this medicine, especially with severe or continuing nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water and may lead to low blood pressure. You can also loose water by sweating, so drink plenty of water during exercise or in hot weather.

Ask your doctor before you use medicines, supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, since they may tend to increase your blood pressure.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Chills
  2. cold sweats
  3. confusion
  4. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position

Less common

  1. Bladder pain
  2. bloody or cloudy urine
  3. chest pain
  4. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  5. fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  6. frequent urge to urinate
  7. lower back or side pain

Rare

  1. Chest discomfort
  2. decreased urine output
  3. dilated neck veins
  4. extreme fatigue
  5. feeling of warmth
  6. fever
  7. irregular breathing
  8. irregular heartbeat
  9. nausea
  10. pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  11. redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  12. shortness of breath
  13. sweating
  14. swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  15. tightness in the chest
  16. troubled breathing
  17. vomiting
  18. weight gain

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain
  2. black, tarry stools
  3. bleeding gums
  4. clay-colored stools
  5. dark urine
  6. decreased frequency of urine
  7. headache
  8. increased thirst
  9. itching
  10. large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  11. loss of appetite
  12. muscle cramps or spasms
  13. muscle pain or stiffness
  14. nervousness
  15. numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  16. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  17. rash
  18. unpleasant breath odor
  19. unusual bleeding or bruising
  20. unusual tiredness or weakness
  21. vomiting of blood
  22. weakness or heaviness of the legs
  23. weight gain
  24. yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. belching
  3. body aches or pain
  4. bone pain
  5. congestion
  6. cough
  7. diarrhea
  8. dryness or soreness of the throat
  9. feeling of indigestion
  10. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  11. heartburn
  12. hoarseness
  13. joint pain
  14. pain in the chest below the breastbone
  15. runny nose
  16. shivering
  17. sneezing
  18. stomach discomfort or upset
  19. stuffy nose
  20. sweating
  21. tender, swollen glands in the neck
  22. trouble sleeping
  23. trouble with swallowing
  24. voice changes

Rare

  1. Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
  2. bloated or full feeling
  3. blurred or loss of vision
  4. burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  5. change in hearing
  6. cracked, dry, scaly skin
  7. decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  8. depression
  9. difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  10. disturbed color perception
  11. double vision
  12. ear drainage
  13. earache or pain in the ear
  14. excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  15. halos around lights
  16. hives or welts
  17. inability to have or keep an erection
  18. large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
  19. loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  20. night blindness
  21. overbright appearance of lights
  22. pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  23. passing gas
  24. sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  25. tunnel vision

Incidence not known

  1. Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  2. sensation of spinning

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.