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Irbesartan

Pronunciation

Generic Name: irbesartan (IR-be-SAR-tan)
Brand Name: Avapro

Irbesartan can cause injury and possibly death to a developing fetus when used during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor at once if you suspect that you are pregnant. If you are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.


Irbesartan is used for:

Treating high blood pressure alone or with other medicines. It is also used in certain patients to treat kidney problems caused by diabetes (diabetic nephropathy). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Irbesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It works by relaxing blood vessels. This helps to lower blood pressure.

Do NOT use irbesartan if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in irbesartan
  • you are pregnant
  • you are taking a medicine that contains aliskiren and you also have diabetes or kidney problems. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if a medicine you take contains aliskiren

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using irbesartan:

Some medical conditions may interact with irbesartan. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are able to become pregnant
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of angioedema (swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness), including angioedema caused by treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (eg, lisinopril)
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, heart failure), blood vessel problems, blood flow problems, diabetes, or kidney problems
  • if you have a history of stroke or recent heart attack
  • if you are dehydrated or have low blood volume
  • if you have electrolyte problems (eg, high blood potassium levels, low blood sodium levels) or are on a low-salt (sodium) diet
  • if you are on dialysis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with irbesartan. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of low blood pressure may be increased
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone, triamterene) or potassium supplements because the risk of high blood potassium levels may be increased
  • ACE inhibitors (eg, enalapril) or aliskiren because the risk of certain side effects (eg, kidney problems, high blood potassium levels, low blood pressure) may be increased
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen, indomethacin, celecoxib) because they may decrease irbesartan's effectiveness or the risk of serious kidney problems may be increased
  • Lithium because the risk of its side effects may be increased by irbesartan

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if irbesartan may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use irbesartan:

Use irbesartan as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take irbesartan by mouth with or without food.
  • Take irbesartan on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking irbesartan at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • Continue to take irbesartan even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of irbesartan, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use irbesartan.

Important safety information:

  • Irbesartan may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use irbesartan with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Irbesartan may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Irbesartan may cause a serious side effect called angioedema. Contact your doctor at once if you develop swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness.
  • Irbesartan may not work as well in black patients. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Dehydration, excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea may increase the risk of low blood pressure. Contact your health care provider at once if any of these occur.
  • Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take irbesartan before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
  • If you have high blood pressure, do not use nonprescription products that contain stimulants. These products may include diet pills or cold medicines. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Lab tests, including blood pressure, blood electrolyte levels, heart function, or kidney function, may be performed while you use irbesartan. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Irbesartan should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 16 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Irbesartan may cause birth defects or fetal death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if irbesartan is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking irbesartan.

Possible side effects of irbesartan:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the hands, eyes, mouth, face, lips, or tongue; hoarseness); change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; dark urine; difficulty swallowing; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; muscle pain or cramps; severe or persistent stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); severe or persistent tiredness; symptoms of low blood pressure (eg, fainting, severe dizziness, light-headedness); vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include fainting; fast or slow heartbeat; severe dizziness or light-headedness.

Proper storage of irbesartan:

Store irbesartan at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at room temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep irbesartan out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about irbesartan, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Irbesartan is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take irbesartan or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about irbesartan. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to irbesartan. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using irbesartan.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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