Irbesartan

Irbesartan treats high blood pressure. This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Avoid salt substitutes containing potassium.

Irbesartan Overview

Reviewed: October 3, 2012
Updated: 

Irbesartan is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease). Irbesartan belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which block the action of angiotensin II, a natural substance that causes blood vessels to contrict (tighten). This helps blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and enabling the heart to pump more efficiently.

This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day, with or without food, with a full glass of water.

Common side effects of irbesartan include diarrhea, heartburn, or dizziness. 

 

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Irbesartan Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Irbesartan

Irbesartan is a prescription medicine used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Irbesartan is also used to treat nephropathy (kidney disease) in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Irbesartan Brand Names

Irbesartan may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Irbesartan Drug Class

Irbesartan is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Irbesartan

Serious side effects can occur with irbesartan use.

Less serious, more common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • upset stomach
  • dizziness (mild)
  • tiredness (fatigue)

This is not a complete list of irbesartan side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Irbesartan Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • a diuretic ("water pill")
  • a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprelan, Naprosyn), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam ((Mobic), paroxetine (Feldene) and others.
  • potassium supplements

This is not a complete list of irbesartan drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Irbesartan Precautions

Serious side effects can occur with irbesartan use including:

  • Allergic reactions. Get emergency medical attention if you have signs of an allergic reaction:
    • hives
    • rash
    • itching
    • swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat
    • difficulty breathing
  • Muscle problems. Rhabdomyolysis, a rare, but serious condition in which breakdown of muscle occurs, leading to kidney failure, has been reported with irbesartan use. Call your doctor right away if you have:
    • muscle pain
    • muscle tenderness or weakness
    • fever
    • nausea (upset stomach)
    • vomiting
    • dark colored urine
  • Low blood pressure. Irbesartan can cause very low blood pressure leading to dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more commonly seen at the beginning of therapy in people who take diuretics, or in people on dialysis.
    • Diarrhea, vomiting, not drinking enough fluids, and sweating can cause a decrease in blood pressure and can lead to lightheadedness and fainting. Tell your doctor if you have any of these problems during your treatment.
    • Irbesartan can make you dizzy. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position. Get up slowly and prevent falls by steadying yourself. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how irbesartan affects you. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Irbesartan Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of irbesartan there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving irbesartan.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are receiving irbesartan, unless your doctor instructs you to.

Inform MD

Before receiving irbesartan, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have congestive heart failure
  • have kidney disease
  • are on dialysis
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to irbesartan, the active ingredient in irbesartan, or any other medication.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Irbesartan and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Because there are risks, including death, to the developing fetus associated with irbesartan, it is usually not recommended during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about treatment options during pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking irbesartan.

Irbesartan and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if irbesartan is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Irbesartan Usage

Take irbesartan exactly as prescribed. Do not adjust your dose unless your doctor instructs you to do so.

Irbesartan comes as a tablet to be taken by mouth, usually once a day, with a full glass of water. It may be taken with or without food. To maintain a steady level of this medicine in your blood, it is best to take it at the same time each day.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with normal dosing. Do not take a double dose.

Do not stop taking irbesartan without talking to your doctor.

Irbesartan Dosage

Take irbesartan exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you based on the medical condition being treated, other conditions you have, medicines you take, and your body's repsonse to irbesartan.

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • The recommended starting dose is irbesartan 150 mg daily.

Nephropathy (kidney disease) in patients with type 2 diabetes

  • The recommended maintenance dose of irbesartan is 300 mg.

Irbesartan Overdose

If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store irbesartan tablets at room temperature, away from excess light and moisture.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Irbesartan FDA Warning

WARNING: FETAL TOXICITY

  • When pregnancy is detected, discontinue irbesartan as soon as possible.
  • Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus.