Avapro (Irbesartan)

Prescription Required.

Product of Canada.

Express Ships from Canada.

Prescription Required.
Product of Canada.
Express Ships from Canada.

Avapro (Irbesartan)

What is Avapro (Irbesartan)?

Avapro (irbesartan) is an angiotensin II receptor agonist medication that is used for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also used to treat diabetic neuropathy in patients that have both hypertension as well as type 2 diabetes. It may be used by itself or alongside additional medication to manage the patient’s condition.

How is Avapro Used?

This medication is a tablet that is consumed orally, usually once per day, and may be taken with a meal or without any food. It should be taken at the same time of day and in the same manner each day to remain as consistent as possible and provide maximum efficacy.

The dosage of this medication will vary based on the condition for which it was prescribed as well as the patient’s current health, medications, and various physical factors.

Storage

Avapro should be stored at room temperature, as close to 77°F (25°C) as possible. Temporary exposure to temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) or as high as 86°F (30°C) is permitted as needed.

Keep this medication out of the reach of children at all times.

Uses

Avapro is prescribed for a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetic neuropathy
  • eclampsia
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • hypertensive congestive heart failure
  • hypertensive encephalopathy
  • hypertensive heart disease
  • hypertensive heart with renal disease
  • hypertensive renal disease
  • hypertensive retinopathy
  • pre-eclampsia
  • renovascular hypertension

How Does Avapro Work?

This medication works for treating hypertension by relaxing the patient’s blood vessels and thereby lowering their overall blood pressure. As an angiotensin II receptor blocker, Avapro is able to inhibit angiotensin II and its effects, meaning that it stops the chemical’s ability to constrict blood vessels and cause high blood pressure to occur.

In patients with type 2 diabetes, this medication simultaneously slows the progression rate of any kidney damage that is present and reduces their blood pressure at the same time.

Dosage

This medication is available in tablet form in the following strengths:

  • 75 mg
  • 150 mg
  • 300 mg

It may be taken without food or with a meal, and it may also be used alongside additional medications to manage the patient’s condition.

When used in the treatment of high blood pressure, the most common dosage administered is 150 mg once per day, and this amount may be elevated to a once-daily dose of 300 mg if needed.

When used in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, the most commonly prescribed dosage of Avapro is a once-daily dose of 300 mg.

In cases in which the patient using this medication is experiencing salt depletion or depletion of their intravascular volume, such as those on hemodialysis or using a significant amount of diuretics, it is recommended that these individuals begin their treatment at a low dose of 75 mg once per day.

Overdose

Patients that have overdosed on Avapro or suspect that an overdose has occurred should contact their physician or local Poison Control Center. If an overdose has occurred and the individual experiences symptoms that are serious and potentially life-threatening, such as difficulty breathing or losing consciousness, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately. The most likely adverse effects of overdosing on this medication include fainting and extreme dizziness.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of taking Avapro are as follows:

  • dizziness
  • feeling lightheaded
  • upset stomach

Some of the following side effects may occur and should be discussed with your doctor if they remain persistent or increase in severity while taking this medication:

  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue or sleepiness
  • feeling lightheaded
  • headaches
  • rash
  • sensitive skin when exposed to sunlight
  • sleep difficulties
  • unusual fatigue
  • vomiting

Please contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following additional side effects:

  • back pain
  • dizziness
  • leg pain
  • losing consciousness
  • muscle cramps
  • rapid heart rate
  • tinnitus
  • swelling of the feet or hands
  • symptoms of an allergic reaction
    • breathing difficulties
    • nausea
    • stomach cramps
    • swelling of the throat or face
    • vomiting
  • symptoms of a psoriasis flare-up
    • itchy, painful skin
    • scales
    • red patches
  • symptoms of hyperkalemia
    • a general feeling of malaise
    • irregular heartbeat
    • muscle weakness
  • symptoms of muscle damage
    • discolored or brown urine
    • tenderness
    • unusual muscle pain
    • weakness
  • symptoms of impaired hepatic function
    • dark-colored urine
    • diarrhea
    • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
    • loss of appetite
    • nausea
    • pale-colored stools
    • vomiting
    • weight loss
  • symptoms of impaired renal function
    • blood in the urine
    • coughing up blood
    • decreased urine output
    • increased nighttime urination

Warnings & Precautions

Children

It has not been determined if this medication is safe to use in pediatric patients or if it is effective at lowering pediatric patients’ blood pressure or managing any of the other conditions for which Avapro might be prescribed.

Drowsiness

As a patient’s blood pressure is lowered, many individuals commonly experience feelings of dizziness of being lightheaded. This can impair one’s ability to perform certain tasks, such as operating machinery or driving a vehicle. Caution should be exercised until the patient using this medication has determined if they are safely able to perform such tasks and are able to remain fully alert.

Elderly Patients

Senior patients that use this medication may be at a higher risk of experiencing side effects.

Heart Disease

Patients that have a history of heart-related issues should be sure to discuss this with their doctor before beginning treatment with Avapro, as this may impact the dosage of the medication required and other factors associated with treatment with this medication. This includes a history of conditions such as valvular stenosis (in which the heart valves become narrowed), recent stroke or heart attack, or other types of heart disease.

Hepatic Function

Those with impaired hepatic function or liver disease are at risk of having this medication build up within the body, resulting in an increased risk of side effects. Patients with any conditions impacting liver function should discuss this with their physician before beginning treatment with Avapro, as this may impact the required dosage of the medication as well as other aspects of treatment. If you are currently using this medication and experience symptoms such as nausea, jaundice, fatigue, itchy skin, abdominal swelling or pain, or dark urine, please inform your prescribing physician of these changes as soon as possible.

Hypoglycemia

The use of this medication is associated with decreased blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients using Avapro will often need to monitor their blood glucose levels more closely to ensure that they stay within the safe ranges during treatment with this medication.

Hypotension

Some individuals using Avapro experience an unexpectedly significant drop in blood pressure after beginning treatment with this medication. This risk is increased in those who have reduced their overall salt intake, experience vomiting or diarrhea, are taking diuretics or aliskiren, or that are on dialysis. Those who have their blood pressure drop too low will often be required to monitor their condition during treatment.

Potassium Levels

Patients using this medication may have the levels of potassium in their blood impacted by Avapro, and this risk is increased in those who are also using diuretics or ACE inhibitors or that are being treated for heart failure. Patients should also avoid the use of salt substitutes that consist of a significant amount of potassium while using this medication.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnant individuals should not use Avapro due to the extreme risk of harm and death to the unborn child. Patients that become pregnant while using this medication should report this to their prescribing physician immediately.

The risks associated with using this medication while breastfeeding have not been determined. Individuals using this medication are advised to consult with their doctor about the potential risks this medication may pose to the infant receiving the patient’s breast milk.

Renal Function

This medication is capable of impacting kidney function in those using it, especially if they have preexisting issues with their renal function, severe congestive heart failure, or blood vessels in the kidneys that are already narrowed. Individuals also using aliskiren or diuretics are at an increased risk of experiencing adverse effects on their kidneys. If you have any issues related to renal impairment, have CHF, or are taking diuretics or aliskiren, please discuss this with your physician before beginning treatment with Avapro.

Drug Interactions

Speak to your doctor about any medications or herbal supplements you are currently taking before beginning treatment with this medication. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or a trusted pharmacist.

The following medications and substances are known to interact with Avapro:

  • aldesleukin
  • alfuzosin
  • aliskiren
  • alpha-agonists
  • alpha-blockers
  • amifostine
  • amiloride
  • amiodarone
  • amlodipine
  • amphetamines
  • amitriptyline
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • antipsychotics
  • aripiprazole
  • apomorphine
  • atenolol
  • beta-adrenergic blockers
  • brimonidine
  • calcium channel blockers
  • canagliflozin
  • candesartan
  • captopril
  • celecoxib
  • clomipramine
  • clonidine
  • clozapine
  • conivaptan
  • cyclosporine
  • dalteparin
  • desipramine
  • dexmethylphenidate
  • dextroamphetamine
  • diabetes medications
  • diclofenac
  • diltiazem
  • digoxin
  • diuretics
  • doxazosin
  • drospirenone
  • duloxetine
  • enalapril
  • enoxaparin
  • eplerenone
  • furosemide
  • ginger
  • ginseng
  • glyburide
  • guanfacine
  • heparin
  • hydralazine
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • ibuprofen
  • insulin
  • isosorbide dinitrate
  • isosorbide mononitrate
  • ketoprofen
  • levodopa
  • linagliptin
  • lisdexamfetamine
  • lithium
  • lixisenatide
  • losartan
  • low molecular weight heparins
  • metformin
  • methyldopa
  • methylphenidate
  • moclobemide
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • nabilone
  • naproxen
  • nifedipine
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • olanzapine
  • other angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • paclitaxel
  • pentoxifylline
  • phenelzine
  • phenobarbital
  • phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors
  • pimozide
  • propranolol
  • potassium pills
  • potassium supplements
  • potassium-sparing diuretics
  • pramipexole
  • quinine
  • ramipril
  • rasagiline
  • riociguat
  • ropinirole
  • rosiglitazone
  • rotigotine
  • sacubitril
  • salt substitutes using potassium
  • selegiline
  • sildenafil
  • sodium phosphates
  • sotalol
  • spironolactone
  • sulfamethoxazole
  • sulfisoxazole
  • sulfonamide antibiotics
  • tacrolimus
  • tadalafil
  • tamsulosin
  • tinzaparin
  • tizanidine
  • tolvaptan
  • tranylcypromine
  • triamterene
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • trimethoprim
  • trimipramine
  • vardenafil
  • verapamil
  • water pills
  • yohimbine

Alternative Medications

For patients who are unable to take Avapro or experiencing significant adverse side effects, alternative medications may be used to treat some of the associated conditions for which this medication is commonly prescribed:

  • azilsartan (Edarbi)
  • candesartan (Atacand)
  • eprosartan
  • losartan (Cozaar)
  • olmesartan (Benicar)
  • telmisartan (Micardis)
  • valsartan (Diovan)

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common side effects of using this medication include the following: diarrhea, dizziness, heartburn, hyperkalemia, orthostatic dizziness, orthostatic hypotension, and tiredness (fatigue).

Diabetic patients using this medication should not also take aliskiren during treatment.

This medication is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) alongside changes to a patient’s diet and exercise regimen. It may also be used by itself or alongside additional medications to manage the condition. It is also used in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in patients that have both high blood pressure as well as type 2 diabetes.

This medication is available in tablet form, and it is available in the following three strengths: 75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg.

This medication should be taken once daily and at the same time each day, with or without food. Most patients will begin using this medication at a once-daily dose of 150 mg. However, some individuals using additional medications to manage their hypertension may be started at a lower initial dose of 75 mg once per day, adjusted as needed. The maximum dosage of Avapro is 300 mg, and patients using the medication should be sure to follow their prescribing physician’s instructions regarding taking it exactly as they’ve been told, as the dosage and manner in which it is taken may vary amongst individuals due to differences in age, weight, and other medications or health conditions.

If you have missed a dose of your medication, you should simply skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose. Patients should not double up on this medication to compensate for a missed dose. Individuals using this medication that are unsure of what to do in this situation or that have questions should consult with their physician or a trusted pharmacist.

If you have any of the following conditions or health factors, you should not take this medication: breastfeeding, currently taking aliskiren or another ACE inhibitor, diabetes mellitus, history of experiencing an allergic reaction to another ARB medication, galactose intolerance, glucose malabsorption, kidney damage associated with diabetes, severely impaired hepatic function, or if you are currently pregnant.

This medication works to lower a patient’s high blood pressure by causing the blood vessels within the body to relax, thereby improving their hypertensive symptoms. When used in patients with type 2 diabetes, this medication lowers the individual’s blood pressure while also slowing down the progression of any kidney damage that may be present.

Patients should contact their prescribing physician as soon as possible if they experience any of the following potential side effects of using this medication: back pain, dizziness, leg pain, losing consciousness, muscle cramps, rapid heart rate, tinnitus, or swelling in the feet or hands. They should also contact their doctor if they experience symptoms of liver problems, a psoriasis flare-up, kidney problems, hyperkalemia, clotting issues, or muscle damage.

Patients using this medication should be aware that it can cause reduced alertness, low blood sugar, drowsiness, and low blood pressure. Additionally, it may also impact hepatic function, renal function, potassium levels, and the management of any preexisting heart disease. Pregnant patients should not use this medication, and those desiring to breastfeed while using Avapro should discuss the potential risks with their doctor before doing so.

Some of the medications that are known to potentially interact with Avapro include the following: additional ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers), alpha-agonists, alpha-blockers, amphetamines, ACE inhibitors, beta-adrenergic blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, low molecular weight heparins, medications for diabetes, MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, potassium supplements or pills, sulfonamide antibiotics, and tricyclic antidepressants. Please discuss all current medications with your physician before beginning treatment with this medication.

Although no specific foods are listed that need to be avoided while using this medication, patients should be cautious regarding their potassium intake, and this includes trying to avoid consuming foods that are notably high in potassium and may further contribute to the risk of hyperkalemia.

This medication is not recommended for pregnant individuals, and patients that are breastfeeding or desiring to breastfeed should consult with their physician about the potential risks of using Avapro while doing so. Regarding children, it is typically advised to avoid administering this medication due to potential risks and the lack of confirmed efficacy, and there have been no studies in those below the age of six years old.

The active ingredient in Avapro is irbesartan. The inactive ingredients in this medication include the following: magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, poloxamer 188, croscarmellose sodium, pregelatinized starch, microcrystalline cellulose, and lactose.

Patients that have diabetes should be sure not to mix this medication with aliskiren or any medication containing aliskiren. This risk also applies to individuals with any preexisting kidney disease. Before beginning treatment with Avapro, patients should inform their physician if they are currently on a diet that is low in salt, if they are on dialysis or have kidney disease, or if they have any additional heart conditions.

Individuals that have overdosed on this medication may experience a rapid heart rate or loss of consciousness. If you have overdosed on this medication, please contact your physician or your local Poison Control Center as soon as possible. If you or someone else has overdosed and experience serious side effects, seek out emergency medical attention immediately.