Telmisartan is a type of angiotensin II receptor blocker that is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. The medication, which causes blood vessels to relax, has proven to be effective in lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Potential side effects may include diarrhea, back pain, upper respiratory infection, and inflammation of the sinuses.
What Is Telmisartan?
Telmisartan (Micardis®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults. It is also approved to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or related deaths in people at high risk for such problems who cannot take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, also known as ACE inhibitors (ACE inhibitors would be the preferred treatment for most people).
Telmisartan is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim.
How Does Telmisartan Work?
Telmisartan is part of a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs for short. As the name implies, it blocks angiotensin II receptors. This decreases the effectiveness of a chemical known as angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking the effects of this chemical, telmisartan causes blood vessels to relax, which can lower blood pressure.
A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example: 120/80. The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. During clinical studies in people taking telmisartan 80 mg, systolic blood pressure (the top number) decreased, on average, by 12 to 13 mmHg. Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) decreased by 7 to 8 mmHg, on average. Lower doses resulted in a smaller drop in blood pressure.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 5, 2014.
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