GENERIC NAME: Irbesartan

COMMON BRAND: Avapro

Irbesartan is an oral antihypertensive prescription drug, belongs to a class of medications known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). It works by blocking the action of angiotensin II (a natural substance) and thereby relaxing blood vessels to flow blood smoothly and helps the heart to pump more efficiently.

It is available as the brand-name drug and generic drug. It is sold under the common brand “Avapro”. Generic drugs usually cost less.

Irbesartan Product Recall:

Medications that contain angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) including valsartan, losartan and irbesartan have been recalled, if you are taking any of these medications. Do not stop taking your medication without discussing with your doctor first.

Read more about the Product Recall here.

What is Irbesartan used for?

Hypertension:

Irbesartan is either used alone or in combination with other drugs to relieve high blood pressure. It also reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Nephropathy in Type 2 Diabetes:

Irbesartan helps your kidneys function better if you have diabetic nephropathy (a type of kidney disease that may occur in people who have diabetes) from type 2 diabetes.

How to use Irbesartan?

The dose of the drug is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Take this drug orally as directed by your doctor, usually once a day with or without food.

Your doctor may suggest you take your first dose before bedtime as it can cause dizziness. After the first dose, you can take irbesartan at any time, but only once a day.

Take this drug regularly even if you feel well, this can help you get the maximum benefit from it. Preferably, take this drug at the same time each day to avoid confusion and missing of dose.

Take the tablet with a glass of water or other liquids. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

What are the side effects of Irbesartan?

The commonly observed side effect with this drug is dizziness or lightheadedness. If any of these effects remain or get worse, talk to your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

To lessen the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Get emergency medical assistance promptly, if symptoms of hyperkalemia (high potassium blood level) occur such as a slow/irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and feeling ill.

This drug very rarely causes serious kidney problems or make them worse, although it is used to improve kidney function. Inform your doctor on time, if you notice any signs of kidney problems like a change in the amount of urine tiredness and shortness of breath.

Get emergency medical assistance right away if you notice any sign or symptoms of low blood pressure such as feeling faint or dizzy, lightheadedness and tiredness.

Allergic reaction to this medicine is very rare. However, get medical help promptly if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as rash, itching/swelling (face/tongue/throat), breathlessness.

This is not a full record of all possible side effects. If you mark other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while using Irbesartan?

Before using Irbesartan, notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist about medical history, mainly of liver disease, kidney problems, dehydration (severe loss of body water and minerals), hyperkalemia (high blood levels of potassium in the blood).

Irbesartan may increase your blood potassium levels. Ask your doctor before you using any medicines, supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium.

Do not take alcoholic beverages until you have discussed with your doctor as alcohol may make the low blood pressure effect worse or increase the possibility of dizziness or fainting.

Do not take other medicines without consulting your doctor, primarily such as prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines for asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

The use of is this medicine is not recommended during pregnancy as it may harm to the fetus. Consult your doctor for further details.

It is not clear whether this drug can passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Irbesartan?

Irbesartan may interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be using. A drug interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works which can be harmful or hinder the drug from working well.

Do not start, stop, or alter the dose of the drug without consulting your doctor as your doctor may be monitoring you for possible drug interactions.

Taking angiotensin receptor blockers (losartan, valsartan, candesartan) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (enalapril, lisinopril, captopril) with this drug may raise your risk of very low blood pressure, high blood potassium levels, and worsened kidney function.

Some products may interact with irbesartan such as lithium, aliskiren and birth control pills containing drospirenone.

Some medications contain inactive ingredients that could raise your blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Tell your doctor what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen/naproxen).

This drug may cause low blood pressure, and the risk of low blood pressure is higher if you also take diuretics (water pills). Examples of diuretics include hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, spironolactone.

WARNINGS:

High blood potassium warning:

This drug may increase your blood levels of potassium. Your doctor will check your blood potassium levels during treatment with this drug.

Risk of hypotension warning:

This drug may cause hypotension (low blood pressure). Your doctor will observe you for low blood pressure at the time of dosage changes. Inform your doctor if you have any symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness or lightheadedness.

Pregnancy:

This drug must not be taken in pregnancy or if you are planning to get pregnant. Irbesartan can harm the fetus or end your pregnancy. Inform your doctor right away if you are pregnant while using this drug.

What are the forms and strengths of Irbesartan?

Generic: Irbesartan
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 75mg, 150mg, 300mg

Brand: Avapro
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 75mg, 150mg, 300mg

What is the dosage of Irbesartan?

For High Blood Pressure (hypertension):

Adult (18-64 years):

Typical Starting Dose: 150mg once a day orally.
Increase in Dose: Your doctor may increase the dose up to 300mg.

Children ( 0–17 years):

This drug must be avoided in children below 18 years.

Senior dosage (65 years and older):

In older adults, the dose of the drug needs to be reduced, or given at a different schedule because older adults eliminate drugs more slowly. Irbesartan causes the accumulation of medicine in the body. Your doctor may keep you on a lower dose or a different schedule if you are an older person.

For Diabetic Nephropathy in Type 2 Diabetes:

Adults (18–64 years):

Typical dosage: 300mg, once a day.

Children (0–17 years):

This drug must be avoided in children below 18 years.

Senior Dosage (65 years and older):

In older adults, the dose of the drug needs to be reduced, or given at a different schedule because older adults eliminate drugs more slowly. Irbesartan causes the accumulation of medicine in the body. Your doctor may keep you on a lower dose or a different schedule if you are an older person.

Special Considerations:

Kidney Impairment: If you have any kidney problem, your doctor may start a lower dosage of this drug.

Most common questions asked about Irbesartan / Q&A’s:

What are the symptoms of Irbesartan overdose?

Irbesartan overdose symptoms may include dizziness, fainting, fast or slow heartbeat. Seek a medical emergency as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.