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Avapro

Pronounced: AVE-ah-pro
Generic name: Irbesartan


Why is this drug prescribed: Avapro is used to treat high blood pressure. A member of the new family of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonists, it works by preventing the hormone angiotensin II from narrowing the blood vessels, an action that tends to raise blood pressure. Avapro may be prescribed alone or with other blood pressure medications. In people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, Avapro is also prescribed to stave off damage to the kidneys, often delaying the need for dialysis and a kidney transplant.

Most important fact about this drug: You must take Avapro regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be a couple of weeks before you get the full benefit of Avapro, and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Avapro does not cure high blood pressure, it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take this medication: Take your dose of Avapro around the same time every day, with or without food. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage information... Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Avapro. More common side effects may include: Diarrhea, fatigue, respiratory tract infection Less common side effects may include: Heartburn, indigestion Rare side effects may include: Abdominal bloating, arthritis, bronchitis, bruising, bursitis, chest pain, chills, congestion, constipation, depression, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, ear infection, ear pain, emotional disturbances, eye infection, eye problems, face swelling, face reddening, fainting, fever, flushing, gas, gout, hearing problems, heart attack, heart failure, heart murmur, hives, irregular heartbeat, itching, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), joint stiffness, muscle aches, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, nosebleeds, numbness, oral sores, prostate problems, sex drive changes, sexual dysfunction, skin eruptions, skin inflammation, skin tingling, sleep problems, stomach and intestinal inflammation, stroke, swelling, swollen mouth or throat, tremor, urination problems, vision problems, wheezing In people taking Avapro for diabetic kidney disease, the most common side effect is dizziness.

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If Avapro gives you an allergic reaction, you will not be able to use this drug.

Special warnings about this medication: In rare cases, Avapro can cause a severe drop in blood pressure. The problem is more likely if your body's supply of water has been depleted by dialysis treatments or high doses of diuretics. Symptoms include light-headedness, dizziness, and faintness, and are more likely when you first start taking the drug. Call your doctor if they occur. You may need to have your dose adjusted. If you have kidney disease, Avapro must be used with caution.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: The chances of an interaction with Avapro are low. Check with your doctor, however, before combining it with tolbutamide (Orinase).

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Avapro can cause injury or even death to the unborn child when used during the last 6 months of pregnancy. As soon as you learn you're pregnant, stop taking Avapro and call your doctor. It is not known whether Avapro appears in breast milk, but because of potential risks to the newborn, it's considered best to avoid using the drug while breastfeeding. You and your doctor should decide whether to give up nursing or discontinue Avapro.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: High Blood Pressure The recommended starting dose of Avapro is 150 milligrams once a day. If your blood pressure remains elevated, your dose will be gradually increased to 300 milligrams once a day. If you are being treated with hemodialysis or high doses of diuretics, you'll be started at a lower dose of 75 milligrams once a day. Kidney Damage from Diabetes The usual dose is 300 milligrams once a day. CHILDREN: For children under 6, safety and effectiveness have not been established. For children 6 to 12 years old, the typical starting dose is 75 milligrams once a day. If blood pressure is still too high, the dose may be increased to 150 milligrams once a day. Children 13 to 16 years old are usually given the adult dosage.

Overdosage: There has been little experience with overdosage of drugs such as Avapro. However, the most likely results would be low blood pressure and an abnormally slow or rapid heartbeat. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.









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