Warnings and Precautions With Telmisartan
There are a number of important warnings and precautions with telmisartan to be aware of, including potential side effects that may develop. For example, telmisartan may potentially cause extreme low blood pressure or a decrease in kidney function. Before beginning treatment with telmisartan, be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have gallstones or other gallbladder problems, heart disease, kidney disease or kidney failure, or liver disease.
- Heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis
- Gallstones or other gallbladder problems
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Any allergies, including allergies to other angiotensin II receptor blockers, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- On dialysis
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
If you are taking telmisartan, keep the following warnings and precautions in mind:
- There are some medicines that telmisartan can interact with (see Drug Interactions With Telmisartan).
- Telmisartan may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to happen in people who are taking a diuretic, are on dialysis, or have congestive heart failure. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider. If you have fainted, stop taking telmisartan until you have talked to your healthcare provider.
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how telmisartan affects you.
- Telmisartan is a pregnancy Category C medicine for the first trimester and a pregnancy Category D medicine for the second and third trimesters, meaning that it poses potential health risks to your unborn child. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking telmisartan, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Micardis and Pregnancy for more information).
- While taking telmisartan, do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes with potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor. This is because in some people taking telmisartan, potassium in the blood can increase to dangerous levels.
- This medication may cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in people who are elderly, have kidney disease, have severe congestive heart failure (CHF), or are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or diuretics (water pills). Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your kidney function with a blood test while you are taking it. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease in urination or swelling in your hands, legs, ankles, or feet, which can be signs of kidney problems.
- If you have moderate to severe liver disease (such as cirrhosis), gallstones, or other gallbladder problems, your body may metabolize telmisartan differently than intended. Therefore, your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose of telmisartan and monitor your situation more closely.
- If you are nursing, it is not known whether telmisartan passes through your milk. Therefore, if you are nursing, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should discontinue telmisartan or stop breastfeeding.