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Irbesartan

Avapro  

Avapro is an FDA-approved medication for treating hypertension and diabetic kidney disease. It works by blocking angiotensin II, reducing blood pressure, and improving kidney function. Available in 75mg, 150mg, and 300 mg strengths, it’s taken once daily with or without food. Common side effects include dizziness and urinary issues, while severe reactions like impotence are rare. Caution is recommended in patients with liver or kidney impairment. If a dose is missed, take it as soon as remembered. Store at room temperature and avoid direct heat and light. Follow the doctor’s instructions closely and report any concerns promptly.

Product Overview

Avapro (irbesartan) is a medication primarily composed of the active ingredient irbesartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. This compound is FDA-approved for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and slowing the progression of kidney disease resulting from diabetes. Hypertension is a common condition by elevated blood pressure levels, which can lead to various cardiovascular complications if left untreated. The mechanism of action of irbesartan involves blocking the activity of angiotensin II, a substance that causes the constriction of blood vessels. This action leads to decreased blood pressure and improved blood flow.

Avapro has multiple strengths, including 75mg, 150mg, and 300mg tablets. The dosage of this medication depends on the individual’s condition and response to treatment. It is normally taken once daily with or without food, preferably at the same time each day, to maintain consistent medication levels in the body. Adults, including elderly patients, can use Avapro, but caution is advised in individuals with hepatic or renal impairment.

Common side effects of Avapro may include chills, dizziness, bladder pain, and frequent urge to urinate, while more severe reactions such as impotence and allergic reactions are possible but rare. Precautions should be taken in patients with known allergies, liver disease, or dehydration. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as remembered, but the missed one should be skipped if it’s almost time for the next dose. In case of an overdose, immediate medical attention is necessary. Store Avapro at room temperature, away from heat and light, which may cause staining of certain surfaces.  

Uses of Avapro 

  • Treatment of high blood pressure
  • Slows the progression of kidney disease resulting from diabetes

How to Use Avapro?

Dosage

This tablet is available in multiple strengths like the following:

  • 75mg
  • 150mg
  • 300mg

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

  • The starting dose for adults is 150 milligrams once daily.
  • The dosage of Avapro may be increased to 300 milligrams once daily based on individual response and blood pressure control.
  • Dosage is determined based on weight. The initial dose is usually 2.5 to 5 milligrams per kilogram (kg) once daily. The maximum dose is 150 mg daily.

Diabetic Nephropathy (Kidney Disease)

  • The usual starting dose is 300 milligrams once daily.

Heart Failure

  • The starting dose is usually 75 milligrams once daily.
  • The dosage may be increased to 150 milligrams once daily, depending on tolerance.

Elderly Patients

  • The starting dose of Avapro for elderly patients may be lower, typically starting at 75 milligrams once daily, especially if they have reduced kidney function.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment

  • No dosage adjustment is usually necessary for patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. However, caution is advised.
  • Avapro is not recommended for patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Patients with Renal Impairment

  • Patients with renal or kidney impairment may require dosage adjustment. It is suggested to consult a medical professional for personalized dosing recommendations tailored to individual kidney function.

[Note: Remember these recommendations may vary depending on person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

  • Take Avapro exactly as advised by your doctor. Do not alter the dosage of this medication unless advised by your healthcare provider.
  • Avapro is taken once a day with or without food. Follow your doctor’s recommended dosage instructions carefully.
  • Swallow the whole tablet with a glass full of water. Unless otherwise instructed, refrain from crushing, chewing, or breaking the tablet.
  • Take Avapro at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of medication in your body.
  • Your doctor may need to monitor your blood pressure and kidney function regularly while you are taking Avapro. Attend all scheduled appointments.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Avapro Work?

Avapro, or irbesartan, functions as an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. It works by disrupting the action of angiotensin II, a substance found in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow, thereby increasing blood pressure. Avapro relaxes blood vessels by inhibiting this action, allowing blood to flow smoothly while lowering blood pressure. This drug is also used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and may be prescribed for kidney problems caused by type 2 diabetes. Overall, Avapro helps to regulate blood pressure levels, mitigating the risk of cardiovascular complications associated with hypertension.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common Side Effects

  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness 
  • Bladder pain
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Chest pain
  • Difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Lower back or side pain

Serious Side Effects

  • Impotence
  • Reduced kidney function
  • Allergic reactions
  • Inflammation and destruction of muscle (rhabdomyolysis)
  • Swollen soft tissues, including those of the throat and larynx (angioedema)

[Note: This list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Warnings

  • Harmful to unborn baby: Taking irbesartan (Avapro) during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can pose serious risks to the unborn baby, including birth defects such as a small skull, low blood pressure, and kidney failure, which may be fatal. If you discover that you’re pregnant while taking irbesartan (Avapro), discontinue use immediately and inform your healthcare provider. Prior to conception or if pregnancy is planned, discuss alternative, safer treatment options with your provider.
  • Low blood pressure: Dehydration (e.g., due to diarrhea or vomiting), low salt levels in the body, individuals on dialysis, or prolonged use of diuretics can increase the risk of excessive blood pressure lowering when taking irbesartan (Avapro). This may lead to symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, or lightheadedness. Ensure adequate hydration during treatment and avoid sudden changes in position. Inform your provider if you experience frequent dizziness, fainting, fatigue, or confusion.
  • Worsening kidney problems: While irbesartan (Avapro) typically improves kidney blood flow, it may exacerbate kidney issues in certain individuals, particularly those with severe heart failure, existing kidney problems, or taking diuretics. Regular monitoring through lab tests may be necessary to assess kidney function during treatment. Notify your provider if you notice decreased urination, fatigue, nausea, or chills, which could indicate kidney damage.
  • High potassium levels: In rare cases, irbesartan (Avapro) may elevate potassium levels in the body, leading to potentially serious complications. This risk is heightened in individuals with diabetes, kidney problems, or those taking other medications that can potentially increase potassium levels. Before initiating irbesartan (Avapro), inform your provider of your complete medical history and current medications. Promptly report symptoms of high potassium levels, such as nausea, muscle weakness, or irregular heartbeat, to your healthcare provider.

Precautions

  • Make sure to inform your doctor about any allergies to irbesartan or other substances, as inactive ingredients present in the medication might induce allergic reactions.
  • Disclose your medical history, especially if you have liver disease, dehydration, or high potassium levels in your blood.
  • Be cautious of potential dizziness caused by this medication, especially when combined with alcohol or marijuana. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or activities requiring alertness until you know your response. Control your alcohol intake and have a conversation with your doctor about using marijuana.
  • Severe sweating, vomiting or diarrhea, can lead to dehydration and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms, inform your doctor and ensure adequate fluid intake unless advised otherwise.
  • Before consuming potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium, it’s essential to consult your doctor or pharmacist due to the potential for irbesartan to elevate potassium levels.
  • Before undergoing surgery, inform your healthcare provider about all medications you’re taking, including prescription, nonprescription, and herbal products.
  • Notify your doctor if you’re pregnant, planning pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Avoid pregnancy while using irbesartan due to potential harm to the unborn baby. Ensure that you consult with your medical expert regarding the risks and benefits, and seek guidance on breastfeeding considerations.

Contraindications

Avapro should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to any of its components. In individuals with diabetes, avoid co-administration of aliskiren with Avapro.

Missed Dose

If you forget to take a dose of Avapro (generic name: irbesartan), take it at earliest . However, if it’s close to time for your next dose, drop the missed one and continue with your regular schedule. Avoid taking two doses simultaneously. For any concerns or queries, consult your doctor.

[Note: If you have missed a medication dose and are unsure when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Overdose 

In case of an overdose of Avapro (generic name: irbesartan), seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center. Indications of overdose are dizziness, fainting, rapid or slow heartbeat, and extreme fatigue. It’s essential to take medication only as your healthcare provider prescribes and follow their guidance strictly.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Storage

  • Store Avapro at room temperature ranging from 68°F to 77°F.
  • You may also refrigerate Avapro if desired.
  • Keep Avapro away from direct heat, light, and humidity.
  • Do not store it in the bathroom.
  • Avapro tablets can cause staining of surfaces, including fabrics, flooring, painted areas, marble, granite, vinyl, and enamel.
  • Keep Avapro away from these surfaces to prevent staining.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional about the proper disposal of any unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Avapro Interactions

  • Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Neurontin (gabapentin)
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Protonix (pantoprazole)
  • Topamax (topiramate)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Zofran (ondansetron)
  • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
  • Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
  • Flonase (fluticasone nasal)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen)

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Avapro. Make sure to tell your doctor any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Avapro Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Avapro classified as a beta blocker?

No, Avapro is not a beta blocker; it belongs to a class of medications known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). While both beta blockers and ARBs are used to lower high blood pressure, they operate through different mechanisms. If blood pressure remains elevated while on irbesartan (Avapro), a healthcare provider may consider adding a beta blocker or another medication to further manage blood pressure levels. It’s advisable to discuss any concerns or queries about blood pressure medications with a healthcare provider.

What is the duration of Avapro in your system?

Most Avapro typically takes between 2 to 4 days to be eliminated from your body. This timeframe is based on the medication’s half-life. However, individual factors like health conditions and genetics can influence how long it stays in your system. If you encounter side effects such as dizziness or fainting while on this medication, it’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider promptly.

Is hair loss a side effect of Avapro?

Hair loss was not reported as a side effect by individuals participating in clinical studies of irbesartan (Avapro). If you notice hair loss while taking this medication, it’s advisable to seek medical help from your nearest clinic or hospital. They can evaluate your condition and explore other potential causes of hair loss, such as alternative medications or underlying medical conditions.

Is it better to take Avapro in the morning or at night?

Depending on when your blood pressure peaks during the day, your healthcare provider may recommend taking Avapro either in the morning or evening. Regardless of the chosen time, consistency is key – taking the medication at the same time daily optimizes its effectiveness in controlling blood pressure. This regularity reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications like heart attack and stroke. If remembering to take medications becomes challenging, using a pill organizer can help maintain a routine.

Is Avapro effective as a blood pressure medication?

Avapro is often considered a first-line treatment for individuals with high blood pressure, especially for those with diabetic kidney disease. However, it may be less effective in controlling blood pressure among Black individuals. Ultimately, the choice of medication should be guided by your healthcare provider, who will determine the most suitable option for effectively managing your blood pressure.

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