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Irbesartan

Generic Name: irbesartan (ir be SAR tan)
Brand Name: Avapro

Medically reviewed on November 23, 2016

What is irbesartan?

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

Irbesartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.

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

Irbesartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

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

If you have diabetes, do not use irbesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo).

Before taking this medicine

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

If you have diabetes, do not use irbesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Valturna).

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

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

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

It is not known whether irbesartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take irbesartan?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Irbesartan may be taken with or without food.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication 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 missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking irbesartan?

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of irbesartan.

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

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

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, 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

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

  • little or no urination;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or

  • confusion, loss of appetite, vomiting, pain in your side or lower back.

Common side effects may include:

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Irbesartan 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 other drugs will affect irbesartan?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, 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 interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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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