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Understanding How Irbesartan/HCTZ Works and Safety Concerns

Drug Interactions

This drug may react with a number of other medicines (see Drug Interactions With Irbesartan/HCTZ).
 

What If I Take an Overdose?

As with most medications, it is possible to take too much irbesartan/HCTZ. People who take too much of this medication may experience:
 
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • A fast heart rate (tachycardia) or slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Low levels of blood electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride.
 
If you happen to overdose on this medication, seek immediate medical attention.
 
(Click Avalide Overdose for more information.)
 

What Should I Do If I Forget a Dose?

If you forget to take a dose of irbesartan/HCTZ, just take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
 

How Does It Work?

Because irbesartan/HCTZ combines two blood pressure drugs, it works in two different ways to lower blood pressure.
 
The irbesartan component of the medication belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (or commonly "ARBs"). Angiotensin II narrows (constricts) blood vessels, making it harder for the heart to pump blood through them. This causes blood pressure to increase.
 
Irbesartan blocks angiotensin II receptors, preventing angiotensin II from narrowing the blood vessels. Through this action, the blood vessels stay relaxed, and blood pressure lowers.
 
Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), the other component in the medication, is a diuretic or "water pill." It works by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is then passed out through the urine. The removal of salt and water decreases blood volume, resulting in lower blood pressure.
 
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Irbesartan/Hydrochlorothiazide Drug Information

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