Irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Oral)

Taken either alone or in conjunction with other medications, oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide can help patients manage high blood pressure and prevent associated problems such as strokes.

Overview

Oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide is designed to treat high blood pressure, or hypertension.

Each of the constituent parts of this medication works differently. Hydrochlorothiazide encourages your body to pass more water out through urination, which in turns reduces the amount of pressure placed on your blood. Irbesartan, meanwhile, is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) which works by barring the way of a naturally occurring substance in your body which makes your blood vessels tighten up. Once this has worked, it's more likely that your heart will receive blood and oxygen much more easily.

It is important that high blood pressure is treated because if it is left untreated it can prevent the arteries from carrying out their normal functions and as a result can lead to a wide range of adverse health effects like strokes or kidney failure.

This medication is only available in tablet format and can be used either by itself or in conjunction with some other medications. This medication can only be accessed with a prescription from a physician.

In the USA, this medication has the brand name Avalide. This means you might see it referred to in this way in marketing or information materials or in stores and pharmacies.

Conditions Treated

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Type Of Medicine

  • Angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB (irbesartan)

Side Effects

As with all medications, taking oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide can lead to a number of unwanted extra conditions in addition to tackling the root cause of your problems. These unwanted problems are known as side effects.

  • The first category of potential side effects that oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide can lead to includes those which require you to consult your physician right away to check that you are all right.

Side effects in this category which are considered to be less common in frequency include a number of problems relating to urination, such as urine which is cloudy or has blood in it, difficulty passing urine, or a burning sensation when doing so. Problems relating to your torso, meanwhile, are also included here, such as pain in the stomach, feelings of nausea, experiencing vomiting or a pain in the lower back. Problems with your heart are also included, such as an unusually fast or out of the ordinary heartbeat or pulse.

Finally, there are a number of miscellaneous side effects in this category too. These include a feeling of tingling in areas like the feet and hands, experiencing a sensation of confusion, swelling in various locations across the body, a heavy feeling in the legs, and more.

  • Some side effects which require you to see your doctor right away if you experience them are considered to be rare or have an incidence which is not currently known. Conditions in this category include convulsions, lots of sweating, feelings of pain or cramping in the muscles, blurriness of vision and more. In addition, a feeling of lightheadedness or becoming faint when moving from lying down to standing up can be considered a serious side effect.

If you experience large swellings in areas like your tongue, feet, legs, sex organs or other areas when taking this medication, meanwhile, you should consult a medical professional. The same applies if you experience a feverish feeling, your skin starts to take on a yellow hue, or you find that your appetite is very low.

  • In addition to the problems outlined above, there are also some side effects which are not considered particularly serious. Often, these side effects are simply your body's natural way of processing the new medication and will often go away on their own. The only time when you would need to consult a medical professional as a result of these side effects would be if you found they were not going away or they were causing you lots of problems.

There are two side effects in this category which are considered more common, and hence you are more likely to experience them. These are sunburn and a headache. The rest of the potential side effects in this category are considered less common, and they include problems like a cough, a sore throat, feeling the chills, experiencing congestion in the nasal passages, sneezing a lot and more.

Finally, problems like joint pain, difficulty falling to sleep and a swelling of the glands in the neck are all included in this category.

    • Remember, this is not an exhaustive list of possible side effects. If you have any questions or concerns about the potential side effects of taking oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, you should speak to your physician or another healthcare professional. They will be able to put your mind at rest and will also be able to share some tips on managing any problems that do arise.

It is not possible to know in advance which of these potential side effects will affect each patient, and as a result you should not expect to experience - or not experience - a particular one.

Dosage

When you are prescribed oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, your physician will make clear how much you need to take. They will also give you information on the frequency required for taking this medication, as well as other crucial details related to your dosage.

This will have been worked out by your physician and is designed for you, so you should always follow their instructions when taking this medication. The standard dosage information below is simply for general knowledge purposes and background information only.

  • Adults who are taking this medication will usually be prescribed one tablet per day. However, a physician can raise this dose if it is required. For children who are prescribed this medication, a physician will usually determine the dosage.
  • The nature of high blood pressure means that it is not always obvious that you are suffering from it. You may not even be able to feel it or experience any problems. However, that does not mean you should cease taking your oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide or alter your dosage if you feel better or as though it is making no difference, as it may in fact be very important to your continued health.
  • Usually, it will be fine for you to take this medication either on an empty stomach or with food. In the event that you are prescribed this medication alongside colestipol and cholestyramine, your physician will usually advise you to take your oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide either four hours or more after taking these two, or at least one hour prior to it.
  • If you miss a dose of this medication, you should decide what to do based on the time it is when you remember you have not taken it. If it is nearly time to take the next dosage, you should skip the dose of oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide which you missed, take the next one at the appointed time and then return to your normal plan. If, however, it is not too long since the missed dose when you remember, you should take it right away when you remember. You should never take a double dose of this medication.

Interactions

Once oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide is inside the human body, it can begin to interact with a whole host of other drugs and cause problems.

For that reason, you should make sure you maintain a full list of all the drugs you are currently taking, including both over the counter medications and those you have accessed via a prescription. You should share this list with your physician, and they will be able to make a judgment on whether or not oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide fits with your current medication configuration.

  • Some drugs can cause serious interactions with oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. These include a variety of drugs in the Fleet enema family, Quick-K (or potassium bicarbonate), Zestril (lisinopril) and more.
  • Various common drugs can cause moderate level interactions with oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Included in this category are a wide range of aspirins, such as Aspir 81 and Acetylsalicylic Acid. Also included are Januvia (sitagliptin), invokana (canagliflozin) and some vitamins, including Vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and Vitamin D2 (or ergocalciferol).
  • Other drugs can cause a low level of interaction with oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Medications in this category include some vitamins such as Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), as well as common drugs like Synthroid (levothyroxine) and paracetamol (acetaminophen).
  • Remember, this list of potential interactions is not necessarily exhaustive. For that reason, you should always inform your physician of all the drugs you are currently taking so that the best decision on what to do can be reached.

Warnings

This medication comes with a number of warnings which you should be aware of before you start taking it.

Firstly, your physician should check in with you at regular intervals while you are taking this medication in order to check that it is working properly. In some cases, you will need to provide a urine sample or take a blood test in order to confirm that it is working as it should be.

Some substances can cause some of the side effects of this medication to be exacerbated. For example, taking medication to help you sleep or drinking alcohol can make feelings of dizziness seem stronger, and for that reason you should inform your doctor if you consume these substances while on a course of oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide.

It is possible that this medication will harm a child if taken by a pregnant woman. For that reason, you should always use a working form of birth control to prevent getting pregnant for the entire duration of your treatment on oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. In the event that you believe you are pregnant, you should speak to your physician.

In the event that you want to take certain medications or substitutions with potassium in them while you are taking oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, you should speak to your doctor before going ahead.

When taking this medication, it is possible that you will experience sickness problems related to your stomach and digestion system. These can include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and more. These conditions can in some cases cause you to lose a large amount of water from your body, and this can in turn affect your blood pressure.

For that reason, you should consult your physician right away if you experience these problems. In order to prevent high levels of water loss, you should also make sure you drink lots of water if the weather is warm or you exercise while taking oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, as this will replace water lost through sweating.

  • Remember, this list of warnings is not necessarily exhaustive. This medication will come with an information booklet containing a full list of warnings. You should consult this list in full, even if you are not sure whether or not the warnings apply to you. That way, you won't miss any that are relevant to your situation.

In addition, you should retain this booklet for potential future use in case you need to refer back to it over the course of taking your oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide.

Storage

As with all medications, it is important that your oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide is stored well out of the reach of children. Even if you do not have children living with you at home, you should keep this drug stored in a place they cannot reach just in case they visit in the future and you do not remember to move it.

This medication should be placed in a container, which should be sealed and kept at room temperature. You should also make sure that this drug is kept out of the way of any adverse environmental problems such as high levels of heat, moisture or light, as this can damage the drug. Remember, oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide should never be frozen.

While you should not stop taking this medication before the end of the course unless you are told to do so by a physician, in some circumstances you may find that you have some amounts of the drug left over which you no longer plan to use. If this happens to you, you should find an appropriate way of disposing of it, and you should not keep it once you are no longer using it.

If you are unsure how to go about disposing of this medication, you should consult a healthcare professional who will be able to advise.

Summary

This medication is designed to treat patients suffering from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. In some cases, this medication is prescribed alongside other medications, but it can also be prescribed as a standalone item. It is available in tablet format and can only be accessed with a prescription from a physician.

This medication can cause a number of potential side effects which you should be aware of. Some of these possible side effects, such as yellow skin or muscle cramps, require immediate attention from your physician. Others, such as a sore throat or a headache, only require medical attention if they are causing you lots of problems or if they do not go away.

The exact dosage of oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide you will receive will be worked out by your physician, and you should always follow their instructions. The standard dosage information is for guidance purposes only. If you miss a dose, you should decide what to do based on how close it is to the time of the next dose.

This medication can cause a number of interactions with other drugs once you have taken it. For that reason, your physician will need a full and comprehensive list of all of the medications you are currently taking so that they can make an accurate decision as to whether or not it is safe for you to take this medication. This includes medications purchased over the counter as well as those received via a prescription.

There are a number of important warnings associated with this medication, and they cover everything from alcohol usage to the effect it may have on your digestive system. As a result, you should read the full list in the booklet which comes with your medication. Even if you are unsure as to whether or not these warnings will apply to you, you should still read the information in full so that you are fully aware.

It is important that this medication is stored in a place free from any problematic environmental conditions, such as high levels of heat or light. It should be kept in a container, and the container should remain closed and at room temperature. Please ensure that this medication is stored out of the reach of children at all times. If you are unsure of how to dispose of any leftover oral irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, you should consult a medical professional to find out the best method.

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