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Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan

Generic Name: hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan (HYE droe KLOR oh THYE a zide and ir be SAR tan)
Brand Name: Avalide

Medically reviewed on Aug 16, 2018

What is hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

Irbesartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Irbesartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan is a combination medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan and tell your doctor right away.

You should not use this medicine if you are unable to urinate, or if you are allergic to sulfa drugs.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to irbesartan or hydrochlorothiazide, or if:

  • you are unable to urinate; or

  • you are allergic to sulfa drugs.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

You may also need to avoid taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

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

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

You may take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan with or without food.

Call your doctor if you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking this medication, which can lead to severely low blood pressure or a serious electrolyte imbalance.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your blood and urine may also be tested if you have been vomiting or are dehydrated.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan.

It may take up to 4 weeks for this medication to control your blood pressure. 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 medication for the rest of your life.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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 or slow heartbeat, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

If you also take cholestyramine or colestipol, avoid taking these medications within 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may cause side effects.

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

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan side effects

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

In rare cases, hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, 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.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • eye pain, vision problems;

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

  • little or no urinating;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding; or

  • signs of an electrolyte imbalance--increased thirst or urination, confusion, vomiting, constipation, muscle pain or weakness, leg cramps, bone pain, lack of energy, irregular heartbeats, tingly feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness;

  • muscle or joint pain; or

  • feeling tired.

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.

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial therapy: Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg-Irbesartan 150 mg orally once a day; may increase after 1 to 2 weeks.

Add-on/Replacement therapy: Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 to 25 mg-Irbesartan 150 to 300 mg orally once a day

Maximum dose: Hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg-Irbesartan 300 mg orally once a day

Comments:
-The recommended doses in order of increasing mean effect are (hydrochlorothiazide-irbesartan): 12.5 mg-150 mg, 12.5 mg-300 mg, 25 mg-300 mg; the largest incremental effect will likely be from monotherapy to 12.5 mg-150 mg.
-Maximum antihypertensive effect is attained within 2 to 4 weeks after a change in dose.

What other drugs will affect hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect hydrochlorothiazide and 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 this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

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