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All about: hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan

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Generic Name: hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan (hyde droe klor oh THYE a zide and ER beh sar tan)
Brand Names: Avalide

What are hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Irbesartan is an angiotensin II receptor inhibitor, also called angiotensin II receptor antagonist, and is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It increases the amount of water and salt you lose in your urine and decreases edema (swelling or fluid retention).

Together, hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan are used to reduce hypertension (high blood pressure).

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Do not take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. When used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, irbesartan can cause injury and even death to the developing baby. Notify your doctor immediately if you think you might be pregnant. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Also use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position. Stop taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan and contact your doctor if lightheadedness or fainting occurs. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase the drowsiness and dizziness that may occur while you are taking an hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

Who should not take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Do not take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan without first talking to your doctor if you have an allergy to sulfa-based drugs such as sulfa antibiotics. You may have an allergic reaction to hydrochlorothiazide.

Before taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan, tell your doctor if you

  • have diabetes;

  • have gout;

  • have a collagen vascular disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus;

  • have pancreatitis;

  • have kidney disease;
  • have liver disease;
  • have high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in your blood;

  • have high levels of potassium in your blood; or

  • are taking potassium a supplement (e.g., K-Dur, Klor-Con, others), or a potassium-sparing diuretic such as amiloride (Midamor), triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide), or spironolactone (Aldactone).

You may not be able to take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. When used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, irbesartan can cause injury and even death of the developing baby. Do not take this medication if you are pregnant. Hydrochlorothiazide passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. It is not known whether irbesartan passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Take hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan can be taken with or without food.

Stop taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan and contact your doctor if lightheadedness or fainting occurs. Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking this medication suddenly, your condition could become worse. Store hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an overdose of hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan are not well known but may include dizziness, weakness, fainting, fatigue, low blood pressure, and changes in heart rate.

What should I avoid while taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Also, use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position. Stop taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan and contact your doctor if lightheadedness or fainting occurs. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase the drowsiness and dizziness that may occur while you are taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan.

Avoid a diet high in salt. Too much salt may cause your body to retain water. Talk to your doctor before making changes in your diet.

Do not use salt substitutes or take potassium supplements without first talking to your doctor. Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan can affect potassium levels in your body. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

Avoid becoming overheated in hot weather. It is easy to become dangerously dehydrated while you are taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan.

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking this medication and call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • fast heartbeats;

  • little or no urine;

  • unusual fatigue, abnormal bleeding or bruising;

  • yellow skin or eyes;

  • confusion; or

  • fainting.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take the medication and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • dizziness;

  • nausea or upset stomach;

  • diarrhea;

  • headache;

  • cough;

  • muscle pain or cramps;

  • rash; or

  • anxiety or nervousness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan?

Before taking hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan, tell your doctor if you are taking

  • a potassium supplement such as K-Dur, Klor-Con, and others;

  • a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone), or triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide);

  • a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin), ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Aleve), and others;
  • an oral diabetes medication such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Micronase, Glynase, Diabeta), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolazamide (Tolinase), or tolbutamide (Orinase);

  • a steroid medicine such as prednisone (Orasone, Deltasone, others), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Pediapred, Prelone), and others;

  • cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid);

  • lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith, others); or

  • digoxin (Lanoxin).

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan is available with a prescription under the brand name Avalide. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Avalide12.5/150 mg-peach, oval tablets

  • Avalide 12.5/300 mg-peach, oval tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:07:13 PM.

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