Irbesartan

Lower your blood pressure to healthier levels with Irbesartan

Irbesartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) that effectively treats hypertension. It works by widening and relaxing your blood vessels, making it easier to pump blood around the body.

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
75mg28 tablets£17.00In Stock
150mg28 tablets£18.00In Stock
300mg28 tablets£17.10In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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About

What is Irbesartan?

Irbesartan is a type of medicine known as an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) which is used to treat high blood pressure. It also works to prevent strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems by lowering the blood pressure. 

How does Irbesartan work?

Irbesartan works by widening and relaxing the blood vessels, making it easier to pump blood around the body. This lowers the blood pressure and keeps it at a healthy level. 

How long does Irbesartan take to work?

Irbesartan will start to work after 3-6 hours of taking it. It can take 4-6 weeks for the medication to take full effect however. High blood pressure often produces no symptoms so you may not feel any different after taking Irbesartan. This does not mean that the medication isn't working. 

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?

The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test. This can be done at your GP surgery by a doctor, nurse or healthcare assistant. It can also be done at certain pharmacies or at home with a self testing blood pressure monitor. If you are risk of high blood pressure then it's recommended that you get checked up regularly. At risk factors include:

  • Age- if you are over 40 then you should have your blood pressure checked every 5 years 

  • Family history 

  • African or Caribbean ethnicity 

  • A diet that is high in salt 

  • Not getting exercise 

  • Being overweight 

  • Drinking lots of alcohol 

  • Smoking 

  • Long-term poor sleeping habits

What causes high blood pressure?

There are several possible causes of high blood pressure which may include underlying health conditions, particular medications and lifestyle risk factors. Health conditions which may cause high blood pressure include: 

  • Kidney disease 

  • Diabetes 

  • Persistent kidney infections 

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea 

  • Glomerulonephritis 

  • Narrowed arteries around the kidneys 

  • Underactive thyroid 

  • Overactive thyroid 

  • Cushing's syndrome 

  • Acromegaly 

  • Hyperaldosteronism

  • Phaeochromocytoma 

  • Lupus 

  • Scleroderma 

 

Medicines which may cause high blood pressure include: 

  • The combined pill 

  • Steroids 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories 

  • Some types of cough and cold remedies 

  • Liquorice based herbal remedies 

  • Recreational drugs, mainly cocaine and amphetamines 

  • SSRI antidepressants 

What are the risks of high blood pressure?

On average, high blood pressure affects 1 in 4 adults within the UK. If it is left unnoticed or untreated then it leaves you at risk of experiencing serious conditions or health problems. These include: 

  • Heart attacks 

  • Heart disease 

  • Heart failure 

  • Aortic aneurysms 

  • Strokes 

  • Kidney disease 

  • Vascular dementia 

  • Peripheral arterial disease 

 

Managing your blood pressure by using medication and adjusting your lifestyle habits reduces your risk of experiencing these circumstances. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in the medicine is Irbesartan. Each tablet contains either a 75mg, 150mg or 300mg dose. 

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients contained in Irbesartan are Microcrystalline cellulose 101, calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, sodium starch glycolate (Type A), hypromellose (5cp), polysorbate 80, talc, silica colloidal anhydrous, sodium stearyl fumarate.

Dosage

How to take Irbesartan

Irbesartan should be taken once a day. Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water at around the same time each day. The medicine can be taken with or without food. Always take Irbesartan as your doctor has prescribed and continue to take it unless your doctor tells you to stop. 

Irbesartan should be taken once a day. Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water at around the same time each day. The medicine can be taken with or without food. Always take Irbesartan as your doctor has prescribed and continue to take it unless your doctor tells you to stop. 

How long should I take Irbesartan for?

Irbesartan is taken long term. It may be the case that you will need to take the medication for the rest of your life to keep your blood pressure under control. 

What should I do if I forget to take Irbesartan?

If you forget to take Irbesartan, leave the missed dose and take the next one at your usual time. Do not take double the dose to make up for a missed one. 

What should I do if I take too much Irbesartan?

If you take too much Irbesartan by mistake, tell your doctor right away. 

What should I do if Irbesartan makes me vomit?

You may experience side effects when you first start taking Irbesartan. This may include nausea and vomiting. If this happens consistently, see your doctor for advice. They may advise you to stop taking the medicine until you feel better.

Side Effects

Common side effects include: 

  • Dizziness 

  • Nausea 

  • Vomiting 

  • Fatigue 

  • An increased level of potassium recorded in blood tests 

  • Dizziness after standing up 

  • Low blood pressure 

  • Pain in the muscles or joints 

  • Decreased level of haemoglobin in the red blood cells 

 

Uncommon side effects may include: 

  • Increased heart rate 

  • Flushing 

  • Cough 

  • Diarrhoea 

  • Indigestion 

  • Heartburn 

  • Sexual dysfunction 

  • Chest pain 

  • Vertigo 

  • Headache 

  • Disrupted taste 

  • Ringing in the ears 

  • Muscle cramps 

  • Abnormal liver or kidney function 

  • Inflammation of small blood vessels 

  • Jaundice 

 

Serious side effects may indicate an allergic reaction. If you experience any of the following then seek immediate medical attention: 

  • Rash 

  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue 

  • Difficulty breathing 

Contraindications

Do not take Irbesartan if: 

  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients contained in the medicine 

  • You are more than 3 months pregnant 

  • You have diabetes 

  • You have impaired kidney function 

  • You are taking a medication called Aliskiren to lower the blood pressure 

  • You are under 18

 

Tell your doctor if any of the following apply to you before taking Irbesartan: 

  • You experience excessive vomiting or diarrhoea 

  • You have kidney problems 

  • You have heart problems 

  • You have diabetic kidney disease 

  • You are scheduled to have an operation 

  • You are using any other high blood pressure medications

  • You are pregnant or trying to get pregnant 

Drug Interactions

Let your doctor know if you are taking any other types of medication. In particular the following medications may require additional care: 

  • ACE-inhibitors 

  • Aliskiren 

  • Potassium supplements 

  • Salt substitutes containing potassium 

  • Certain types of Diuretics 

  • Lithium 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories 

Irbesartan and alcohol

It's best to avoid drinking alcohol for the first few days of taking Irbesartan as alcohol can enhance the blood pressure lowering action of the medication, resulting in dizziness or feeling light-headed. If you experience dizziness while taking Irbesartan then avoid drinking alcohol. 

Irbesartan and pregnancy

Irbesartan is not usually recommended during early pregnancy and it can cause harm to an unborn baby if it is taken after the third month of pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are, or could be, pregnant so that they can prescribe you with a medication that is suitable. 

Irbesartan and breastfeeding

Irbesartan is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers as a small amount of the medicine may pass through the breast milk. Your doctor will be able to recommend a suitable alternative to Irbesartan. 

Will Irbesartan affect my fertility?

Irbesartan will not have an affect on your fertility but it should not be taken if you are trying to get pregnant. 

Will Irbesartan affect my contraception?

Irbesartan will not affect any type of contraception. Certain types of hormonal contraceptives are not suitable for women with high blood pressure, such as the combined pill. 

Can I drive while taking Irbesartan?

It's recommended not to drive until you know how Irbesartan affects you. It can cause dizziness or fatigue in some people. If this happens, avoid driving or operating machinery until you feel better. 

Is Irbesartan addictive?

Irbesartan has not been known to be addictive. 

Treatment Options

Alternatives to Irbesartan

Candesartan, Losartan and Valsartan are alternative ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) which work in the same way as Irbesartan. Other types of high blood pressure medications include: 

  • ACE inhibitors (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors)- These are usually offered in the first instance for patients under the age of 55. These include Benazepril, Perindopril and Ramipril 

  • Calcium-channel blockers such as Amlodipine, Felodipine or Verapamil 

  • Beta blockers such as Bisoprolol and Propranolol 

  • Diuretics such as Indapamide and Hydrochlorothiazide 

Can Lifestyle changes help?

Everyone with high blood pressure is advised to make the following lifestyle changes to help lower and maintain your blood pressure: 

  • Reduce your salt intake to a minimum of 6g a day

  • Eat a low fat, healthy diet that includes 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day 

  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day

  • Reduce your consumption of alcohol 

  • Maintain a healthy weight 

  • Cut down on caffeine (such as tea and coffee) 

  • Quit smoking 

 

These steps can be implemented to help prevent high blood pressure from occurring or getting to the point of needing medication. 

Q&A

Is Irbesartan safe to take for a long time?

Irbesartan is designed for long term use so it is safe to take in this way. 

Can I stop taking Irbesartan now that my blood pressure is lower?

You should keep taking Irbesartan even if your blood pressure has lowered. If you stop taking it this could cause your blood pressure to rise again. You will need to keep taking the medication to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. 

Is there any food or drink I should avoid?

You should avoid using salt substitutes, for example Lo-Salt, while you are taking Irbesartan. This is because they can cause the level of potassium in your blood to become too high. 

Can I take Irbesartan for migraines?

Irbesartan is not designed to treat migraines but it is sometimes prescribed for this as an off-label use. It's likely that your doctor will prescribe treatments specifically for migraines first. 

Can I take Irbesartan to prevent Alzheimer's disease?

While studies have taken place to find out whether or not blood pressure medications can help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's, there is not enough evidence to suggest that the medication can work in this manner. 

How to prevent high blood pressure

High blood pressure can be prevented by: 

  • Eating a healthy diet

  • Cutting down on fats 

  • Reducing your alcohol consumption 

  • Losing weight if you are overweight 

  • Staying active 

  • Cutting down on caffeine 

  • Quitting smoking 

  • Getting enough sleep

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