Why is this medication prescribed?
The combination of irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide is used to treat high blood pressure. Irbesartan is in a class of medications called angiotensin II antagonists. It works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, making blood flow more smoothly. Hydrochlorothiazide is in a class of medications called diuretics ('water pills'). It works by causing the the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and salt from the body into the urine.
How should this medicine be used?
The combination of irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. It may take 2 to 4 weeks before you feel the full benefit of irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Continue to take irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to irbesartan, hydrochlorothiazide, sulfa drugs, or any other medications.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medication, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); cholestyramine (Questran); colestipol (Colestid); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for diabetes; narcotic pain relievers; oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone); other medications for high blood pressure; phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); and tolbutamide (Orinase). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you are on dialysis and if you have or have ever had asthma, lupus (SLE), diabetes, heart failure, gout, or kidney or liver disease.
tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
you should know that irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Alcohol can make the side effects from irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide worse.
you should know that irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
you should know that diarrhea, vomiting, not drinking enough fluids, and sweating a lot can cause a drop in blood pressure, which may cause lightheadedness and fainting.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes containing potassium. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet or an exercise program, follow these directions carefully.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
lack of energy
muscle pain or cramps
Irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Other useful drug information: Aspirin | Trazodone | Gabapentin | Acetaminophen | Celebrex | Diazepam | Diclofenac
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