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Avapro

Generic name: irbesartan (ir be SAR tan)
Brand name: Avapro
Drug class: Angiotensin receptor blockers

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Jun 3, 2021.

What is Avapro?

Avapro (irbesartan) is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (sometimes called an ARB). Irbesartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Avapro is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children at least 6 years old. Lowering blood pressure may lower your risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Avapro is also used to treat kidney problems caused by type 2 diabetes.

Warnings

Do not use Avapro if you are pregnant. Stop using and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you have diabetes, do not take Avapro with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure in the short-term and may increase certain side effects of Avapro. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking this medicine, unless your doctor has told you to.

In rare cases, irbesartan can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, possibly leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Avapro if you are allergic to irbesartan.

If you have diabetes, do not take Avapro with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

You may also need to avoid taking Avapro with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

To make sure Avapro is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a heart condition other than one being treated with irbesartan;

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis); or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using the medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Irbesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

If you plan to get pregnant, ask your doctor for a safer medicine to use before and during pregnancy. Having high blood pressure during pregnancy may cause complications in the mother and the baby.

You should not breastfeed while using this medicine.

How should I take Avapro?

Take Avapro exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Avapro may be taken with or without food.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking Avapro.

It may take up to 2 weeks before your blood pressure is under control. Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms.

You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. Treatment may also include diet, exercise, lowering cholesterol, not smoking, and controlling diabetes.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 150 mg orally once a day
Maximum dose: 300 mg orally once a day

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetic Nephropathy:

Target maintenance dose: 300 mg orally once a day

Use: Treatment of diabetic nephropathy with an elevated serum creatinine and proteinuria (greater than 300 mg/day) in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include fast heartbeats or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Avapro?

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes, unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Avapro side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Avapro: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • little or no urination;

  • high potassium level - nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement.

Common Avapro side effects may include:

  • dizziness;

  • feeling light-headed; or

  • high potassium.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Avapro?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with irbesartan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.