Telmisartan | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

telmisartan, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Micardis
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Highlights for telmisartan

Oral tablet
1

Telmisartan is an oral drug that’s used to treat high blood pressure. It may also be used to lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, or death if you’re 55 years or older and can’t take angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

2

To treat high blood pressure, the standard starting dose is 40 mg taken by mouth once per day. Your dose may range from 20–80 mg taken by mouth once per day. To reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death, the recommended dose is 80 mg taken by mouth once per day.

3

You shouldn’t take this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It can harm or be fatal to your developing baby. If you become pregnant, stop taking telmisartan and call your doctor right away.

4

Telmisartan can cause your blood pressure to drop too low. This may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded or cause a headache. Your risk may be higher if you’re dehydrated or taking high doses of water pills (diuretics).

5

Common side effects include sinus pain and congestion, back pain, diarrhea, lung infections, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, and more.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to effects that may be dangerous.

Use during pregnancy warning. You shouldn’t take this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It can harm or be fatal to your developing baby. If you become pregnant, stop taking telmisartan and call your doctor right away.

Low blood pressure

Telmisartan can cause your blood pressure to drop too low. This may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded or cause a headache. Your risk may be higher if you’re dehydrated or taking high doses of water pills (diuretics).

High potassium levels

Telmisartan can increase your potassium levels. Your risk may be higher if you have kidney problems or heart failure. Your doctor should check your potassium levels while you’re taking this drug.

What is telmisartan?

Telmisartan is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Telmisartan is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

To treat high blood pressure, telmisartan may be taken in combination with other blood pressure-lowering drugs.

Why it's used

Telmisartan is used to lower high blood pressure. Telmisartan may also be used to lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, or death. It’s given to adults who are 55 years or older who can’t take angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

How it works

Telmisartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. They’re often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Telmisartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. They’re often used to treat similar conditions.

Telmisartan works by blocking the effect of angiotensin. This makes your blood vessels relax more. it also allows your kidney to get rid of excess water and salt. This helps lower your blood pressure.

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telmisartan Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with telmisartan include:

  • sinus pain and congestion

  • back pain

  • diarrhea

  • lung infections

  • sore throat

  • flu-like symptoms, such as fever and body aches

  • upset stomach

  • muscle pain

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • fatigue

  • nausea

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

  • Low blood pressure. Symptoms include:

    • faintness
    • dizziness
  • Kidney disease. If you already have kidney disease, this drug may make it worse. Symptoms include:

    • swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands
    • unexplained weight gain
  • Allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

    • swelling of your face, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • skin rash
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Telmisartan doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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telmisartan May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Telmisartan can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or cause the drugs that you take to not work as well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

Using alcohol with this drug can increase your risk for low blood pressure. This may cause faintness or dizziness.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Blood pressure medications

Telmisartan affects the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone. You shouldn’t take this drug with other medicines that affect this system.

These drugs include:

  • aliskiren. Telmisartan and aliskiren shouldn’t be used together in adults with diabetes or moderate kidney disease.
  • angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as:
    • candesartan (Atacand, Atacand HCT)
    • eprosartan (Teveten)
    • irbesartan (Avapro, Avalide)
    • losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar)
    • olmesartan (Benicar, Benicar HCT, Tribenzor, Azor)
    • valsartan (Diovan, Diovan HCT, Exforge, Exforge HCT)
    • azilsartan (Edarbi, Edarbyclor)
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as:
    • benazepril (Lotensin, Lotrel, Lotensin HCT)  
    • captopril 
    • enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned)
    • fosinopril (Monopril)
    • lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril, Prinzide, Zestoretic)
    • moexipril (Uniretic)
    • perindopril (Aceon)
    • quinapril (Accupril, Accuretic)
    • ramipril (Altace)
    • trandolapril (Mavik, Tarka)

Pain medications

Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with telmisartan can increase your risk of kidney problems. Your risk may be higher if you’re a senior, are dehydrated, take water pills (diuretics), or have kidney problems.

These drugs include:

  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen

Digoxin

The levels of digoxin in your blood may increase when taken with telmisartan. Your doctor may monitor your blood levels when starting, adjusting, or stopping telmisartan.

Lithium

The levels of lithium in your blood may increase when taken with telmisartan. Your doctor may monitor your blood levels when starting, adjusting, or stopping telmisartan.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Telmisartan warnings
severe heart failure
People with severe heart failure

Telmisartan may reduce the amount of urine you produce or increase your risk for kidney injury.

severe kidney problems
People with severe kidney problems

Telmisartan may reduce the amount of urine you produce or increase your risk for kidney injury.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Telmisartan is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies show a risk of adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. The benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy may outweigh the potential risks in certain cases.

This drug may harm or be fatal to your unborn baby.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Telmisartan should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if telmisartan passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breast-feeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take this drug or breast-feed.

seniors
For seniors

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

children
For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Allergies
Allergies

Telmisartan can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face, throat, or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take telmisartan (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your doctor will tell you what dosage is right for you. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High blood pressure

Brand: Micardis

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg

Generic: telmisartan

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The typical starting dose is 40 mg, taken by mouth, once per day.
  • The maintenance dose is 20–80 mg, taken by mouth, once per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

Special considerations

Liver problems: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose and increase your dose more slowly if needed.

Reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death

Brand: Micardis

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg

Generic: telmisartan

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg
Adult dosage (ages 55 years and older)
  • For people 55 years and older who cannot take angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, this drug is used to reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death.
  • The typical dose is 80 mg, taken by mouth, once daily.
Adult dosage (ages 18–55 years)

Telmisartan is not used in this age group for this indication.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

Special considerations

Liver problems: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose and increase your dose more slowly if needed.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Telmisartan comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you take too much

Taking too much telmisartan may make you feel dizzy or like your heart is beating too fast or too slow.

If you think that you’ve taken too much, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.

If you don't take it at all

To treat high blood pressure: Your blood pressure may get worse. This will increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

To reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death: Telmisartan reduces your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. If you don’t take it, your risk may increase.

If you stop taking It suddenly

To treat high blood pressure: Don’t stop taking telmisartan without talking to your doctor first. Stopping this drug suddenly can cause your blood pressure to spike. This can increase your risk for heart attack or stroke.

To reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death: Don’t stop taking telmisartan without talking to your doctor.

If you don't take it on schedule

To treat high blood pressure: Your blood pressure may get worse. You may not feel any different, but your blood pressure may not be well controlled. This can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

To reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death: If you don’t take this drug each day, your risk of a heart attack or stroke may increase.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours before the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause toxic side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You may not feel any different when taking this medication. You may be able to tell this drug is working if you check your blood pressure and it’s lower. Your doctor will let you know if this drug is working for you.

Telmisartan is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking telmisartan
taken with or without food
Telmisartan can be taken with or without food
crush or cut the tablet
You can crush or cut the tablet
storage
Store this drug carefully
See Details
refillable
Prescription is refillable
travel
Travel
See Details
self-management
Self-management
See Details
Clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
Hidden costs
Hidden costs
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store telmisartan at room temperature from 56–86°F (15–30°C).
  • Telmisartan shouldn’t be removed from its packaging (blister pack) until right before you take your dose.
  • Keep it away from light and high temperature.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport security staff the pharmacy prescription label for your medication. Be sure to carry with you the box your medication came in, which has this label.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

You may need to check your blood pressure at home. You should keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

You may need to buy your own blood pressure monitor, so that you can check your blood pressure at home.

Clinical monitoring

During treatment with this drug, your doctor will check your:

  • blood pressure
  • kidney function
  • electrolyte levels

Hidden costs

You may have to buy your own blood pressure monitor, so that you can check your blood pressure at home. These are available at most pharmacies.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other options that may work for you.

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How Much Does telmisartan Cost?

Oral tablet

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for telmisartan on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 9, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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