Drugs A - Z

Irbesartan Oral tablet

It is used to treat high blood pressure

Generic Name: irbesartan

Brand Names: Avapro

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

What is this medicine?

IRBESARTAN (ir be SAR tan) is used to treat high blood pressure. This drug also slows down the progression of kidney disease in diabetic patients.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart failure
  • kidney or liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to irbesartan, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medicine can be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • diuretics, especially triamterene, spironolactone, or amiloride
  • potassium salts or potassium supplements

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your blood pressure should be and when you should contact him or her. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice an irregular or fast heart beat.

Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child, particularly in the second or third trimester. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Avoid salt substitutes unless you are told otherwise by your doctor or health care professional.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medicine without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients may increase your blood pressure.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • confusion, dizziness, light headedness or fainting spells
  • decreased amount of urine passed
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, or tightening of the throat
  • fast or irregular heart beat or palpitations
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, hands, or feet
  • unusual rash or hives

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • decreased sexual function
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue or tiredness
  • heartburn

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: February 27, 2009
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