1 What is Avapro?

Brand: Avapro

Generic: Irbesartan

Irbesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker that is used to help to control high blood pressure. It is also used for hypertensive patients with diabetic nephropathy. It acts by blocking the angiotensin receptor and thereby prevents the action of angiotensin (powerful chemical that attaches to angiotensin receptors). As a result, Irbesartan dilate the blood vessels and blood pressure is reduced.

Controlling high blood pressure can decrease the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Irbesartan can be used in combination with other medication.

2 What to Know Before Using

Tell to your doctor if you are allergic to Irbesartan or to any other medications. You should also inform your healthcare providers if you are allergic to foods, dyes, or animals. Safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established in children younger than 6 years of age.

Pregnancy Category D – Do not use this medication while you are pregnant as it can cause risk to the unborn baby. There are no adequate studies whether Irbesartan can pass through breast milk or if it could cause harmful effects to the infant. Discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Taking this medicine with Aliskiren is not recommended and you may not be required to receive this medication. Otherwise, alternative medicine may be prescribed for your other medications. Taking this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but with exception in some cases. Dosage or frequency of one or both of your medicines may be changed if both medicines are prescribed together.

  • Benazepril
  • Captopril
  • Ceritinib
  • Dabrafenib
  • Enalapril
  • Enalaprilat
  • Entacapone
  • Fluconazole
  • Fosinopril
  • Lisinopril
  • Lithium
  • Moexipril
  • Perindopril
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Trandolapril
  • Trimethoprim

Some medical conditions can interact with this medication. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
Congestive heart failure

  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Fluid imbalances
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetic patients who are also taking Aliskiren (Tekturna®) — Should not be used in patients with this condition.

3 Proper Usage

This medication will not cure your high blood pressure but it will help you to control it. You should take this medication exactly as directed. Do regular visits to your doctor as well to monitor your progress with this medication. This medication may be taken with or without food.

Your doctor will advise you to do exercises and weight control. Your diet may also be changed to low salt and low fat diet to aim the desired effect of the medication. For high blood pressure, starting dose for adult patients is 150 mg/day. Your doctor may increase your dose up to 300 mg/day. For diabetic nephropathy, starting dose for adult patients is 300 mg/day.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is near for your next dose, skip the missed dose and start again to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. Store the medication in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep out of reach of children. Do not keep expired medications.

4 Precautions to Take

Your doctor will be checking you regularly for the effectiveness of the medication. Blood tests may be ordered as well for undesirable effects. Contraceptives must be used to keep you or your partner from getting pregnant. Tell your doctor immediately if you think you have become pregnant while using this medication. Slowly get up from a lying or sitting position since this medication may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Avoid driving, operating machineries, or any other unsafe activities as well.

Check with your doctor if this problem continues or gets worse. Consult with your doctor immediately if you have severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting while under Irbesartan treatment. These can cause decreased level of water and salt to your body and may lead to low blood pressure. Drink plenty of water when exercising or during hot weather.

Tell your doctor that you are using this medicine before undergoing any kind of surgery or emergency treatment. Talk to your doctor if you are planning to take any other medication, especially medications that contain potassium.

5 Potential Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur, check with your doctor right away:

  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position
  • Bladder pain
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Chest pain
  • Difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Chest discomfort
  • Decreased urine output
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Fever
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • Redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Troubled breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Bleeding gums
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased frequency of urine
  • Headache
  • Increased thirst
  • Itching
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Muscle pain or stiffness
  • Nervousness
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • Rash
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Weakness or heaviness of the legs
  • Weight gain
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Less serious side effects:

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Belching
  • Body aches or pain
  • Bone pain
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Dryness or soreness of the throat
  • Feeling of indigestion
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Heartburn
  • Hoarseness
  • Joint pain
  • Pain in the chest below the breastbone
  • Runny nose
  • Shivering
  • Sneezing
  • Stomach discomfort or upset
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sweating
  • Tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble with swallowing
  • Voice changes
  • Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
  • Bloated or full feeling
  • Blurred or loss of vision
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, ""pins and needles"", or tingling feelings
  • Change in hearing
  • Cracked, dry, scaly skin
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • Depression
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • Disturbed color perception
  • Double vision
  • Ear drainage
  • Earache or pain in the ear
  • Excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • Halos around lights
  • Hives or welts
  • Inability to have or keep an erection
  • Large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
  • Loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • Night blindness
  • Overbright appearance of lights
  • Pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  • Passing gas
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Tunnel vision
  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • Sensation of spinning

Not all side effects are listed above. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.