The main factors affecting Avapro® dosage are the indication for which it is being used, response and tolerance. In some patients with underlying salt or volume depletion, the dose may be lower than normal. Avapro® contains the active ingredient irbesartan and may be known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer. In most countries it is available by prescription only and the prescribed dosage should not be exceeded.
Irbesartan is an angiotensin 2 receptor blocker which is used in the treatment of essential hypertension or high blood pressure and treatment of kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. It works by blocking the receptors on which angiotensin 2 acts. Normally angiotensin 2 causes vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels, and stimulates aldosterone which, in turn, increases the volume of fluid in the vessels. By blocking these receptors, irbesartan can decrease high blood pressure both by dilating the blood vessels and decreasing the volume.
The initial Avapro® dosage prescribed will depend on the indication. For essential hypertension the usual starting dosage is 150mg once a day. The prescribing doctor will monitor the response of the blood pressure and tolerance of any side effects and may increase the Avapro® dosage to 300mg daily where necessary. In some cases, where the desired blood pressure reduction is not obtained, a second antihypertensive drug, such as a diuretic, may be added.
In patients who are salt or volume depleted, such as those on high doses of diuretic drugs or those with kidney failure undergoing dialysis, a lower Avapro® dosage may be prescribed. Again, the prescribing doctor will monitor response and tolerance and adjust the Avapro® dosage accordingly. Avapro® is available in 75mg, 150mg and 300mg tablets, so it is important to give the dosage in milligrams, as opposed to number of tablets to be taken to prevent incorrect dosing.
As with any medication, Avapro® may interact with other medications and be contraindicated in patients with some clinical conditions. Any medications, including homeopathic, over-the-counter and complementary medicines should be disclosed to the prescribing doctor, as should any underlying diseases. Pregnancy, desired pregnancy and lactation should also be discussed.
Avapro® may cause unwanted side effects in some patients. These may include dizziness, especially on standing up. Caution is warranted, especially on initiation of therapy, when driving or operating heavy machinery. Should severe side effects be experienced, medical attention should be sought immediately.