What is Avalide®?

Andy Josiah
Andy Josiah
Avalide® may be prescribed to treat high blood pressure.
Avalide® may be prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

Avalide® is one trade name for a prescription medication that combines irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medication on 30 September 1997. The patent expires in March 2012. Avalide® is also known as Irda, Aprovel®, Karvea— or Avapro®.

The two agents that comprise Avalide® have their specific functions in fighting hypertension. Irbesartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker, meaning it regulates the occurrence of angiotensin, a peptide that increases hypertension by narrowing the blood vessels. Thus, irbesartan is responsible for improving blood flow. Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic drug used for limiting the amount of water the kidneys can retain by preventing the body from absorbing too much salt. This action helps in reducing the blood's volume.

Avalide® is manufactured as a tablet meant for oral administration. The medication is prescribed in 12.5-milligram (mg)/150-mg, 12.5-mg/300-mg and 25-mg/300-mg doses for irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, respectively. It usually takes up to four weeks for Avalide® to yield positive results. Doctors usually recommend that patients continue to take the medication to continue control of their blood pressure, especially considering that high blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Also, doctors may change doses to ensure the best results from Avalide®.

Major side effects of Avalide® include shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, jaundice, swelling, drowsiness and increased heart rate. Less serious problems may include stomach pain, heartburn, headache, dry cough or sore throat. When taking the drug, patients should avoid drinking alcohol, since it can cause hypotension — the exact opposite of hypertension — as well as increase some of the medication's side effects. Takers of the drug should also avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated, and they can consult with their doctors regarding the type and amount of liquids they should drink.

Patients are advised to stay away from potassium supplements and salt substitutes when taking Avalide®, unless the physician permits it. Medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease, high cholesterol, gout, lupus or diabetes should be reported. Under these circumstances, the doctor adjusts the doses or runs some tests to make sure it is safe for the patient to take Avalide®.

The FDA puts Avalide® in Category D of its classification system for pharmaceutical fetal injury. According to the agency, this is the second-highest level of fetal risk. Category D is set apart from the absolute highest level of potential danger, Category X, in that in some cases, doctors may warrant use of the medication by pregnant patients.

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    • Avalide® may be prescribed to treat high blood pressure.
      By: delux
      Avalide® may be prescribed to treat high blood pressure.